Jindřichovice pod Smrkem: with mix of RES and ideas towards autarky
The village on the Polish border with 624 inhabitants had as the first one in the Czech Republic a strategy about energy self-sufficiency based on RES – in 2000 already! Mr. Petr Pávek (a former mayor and a biker, among others an initiator of a provoking public notice, which forbade an entry to the village for “dilatory” officials, who did not announce themselves in advance…) was an engine of all happening.
An open environment for prospective newcomers
Prejudice in favour of RES has brought the village a wind power plant (2x 600 kW), photovoltaics (131 kW), a biomass heating plant for five public buildings (350 kW), 34 m2 of solar thermal installations. Jindřichovice is trying to open for prospective newcomers, who are looking for a clean environment, enough of living space and an alternative to the existing hastily city life. Since 2008 the village built for them eight low-energy houses with heat pumps (58 kW). In addition they have either solar thermal installation or green roof or are built from ecologic stuff. On top of that we can add an Environmental Information Centre at the foot of the wind plant, which offers guided tours for individuals and groups, incl. special programs for schools.
The village has have a municipal fund for private RES installations (a combination of a loan and a subsidy) for last 10 years – it pays off around CZK 100 000 per year...
Valuable inspiration for other European front-runner communities
Not by chance was just this Czech village nominated among champions of the European RES Champions League 2014. It did not get the podium in a competition of (among all) Austrian and German municipalities. However, not only for participants of the last face-to-face project meeting with Austrian twinning partners, which is supposed to take place right here in February, can Jindřichovice offer other valuable inspiration:
- Experience of municipal treasury supply from profit of the wind power plant, constantly attended by excursions,
- Club café with a library as a meeting centre for the local community,
- An eco-farm “Permaland” of the former mayor Mr. Pávek offering seeds, vegetables and herbs grown even biodynamic way,
- A living outdoor museum of the former life of farmers, operated by the association “Lunaria”,
- A magical mini-dwelling from unfired clay of the known sensitive actor Jarda Dušek,
- Edification of citizens and community from the use of environmental subsidies etc.
Author: Karel Merhaut
Photo: municipality archive