The vision of the municipality Šentrupert on energy self-sufficiency brought them label 100% RES community

Šentrupert
Published by Suzana Vurunic on 24.09.2014

Since its establishment in 2007, Municipality Šentrupert has been actively investing in the energy supply. During the international congress forum “Yes, we can! Regions in Germany, Europe and the world show 100% RE is reality today”, Šentrupert was the first Slovenian municipality to be awarded the European 100 %RES Communities label on the 11th of November 2014.

Only one step from strategy to concrete actions

In 2009, the Municipal Council adopted a local energy concept. It describes how to increase general awareness and energy literacy of consumers and includes measures on energy efficiency and the introduction of new energy solutions. In accordance with the Action Plan, a position of energy manager was established to maintain energy accounting and activities for the use of renewable energy sources (RES) and energy efficiency (EE). Data obtained from energy accounting have already contributed to both short-term and long-term results and one of these activities is the wood biomass heating supply system.

In September 2014, the Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) was confirmed by the members of Šentrupert Municipal council. They plan to reduce CO2 emissions by 20 percent by 2020. The municipality was rewarded with the award En.Občina 2012 for the most energy efficient municipality in 2012.

Everything starts with education

Within the framework of the local energy concept, the Municipality of Šentrupert decided to improve the quality of heating of school buildings in Šentrupert Elementary School with the gym and the new kindergarten. Planned investment to improve the heating system was placed in the basement of the new kindergarten in the way of boiler room in which wood biomass is used. Thus, CO2 emissions were reduced by 131 tons per year. In August 2010, first fully wooden energy efficient kindergarten in Slovenia was completed.

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Dealing with the largest settlement in the municipality: the prison

In this year, the boiler room in the prison complex at Dob was launched. They are now heated by local renewable energy source - wood chips. Dob Prison, which is actually the largest settlement in the municipality, is also the largest consumer of energy and the largest producer of wastewater. Nearly 900 people are daily living and working there. According to the mayor Mr. Gole, the boiler room is just one piece of the whole mosaic and a part of the so-called green integral economy of their local community.

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Structuring the wood supply chain and create jobs

In summer also, a cogeneration unit - simultaneous production of electricity and heat in the system driven by wood chips - started. In spring, after the end of the heating season, wooden biomass provided from the local environment by linking owners of scattered forest parcels in the Mirna Valley replaced the original supplier – company Biomass. This will save up to 200,000 € per year.

The third phase of the system is related to the construction of a greenhouse to produce 3000 tons of tomatoes yearly on an area of 4.5–5 hectares – to meet the needs for food self-sufficiency, especially with vegetables. The heat will be produced and supplied by a public company Energetika Šentrupert what will provide 50 new jobs.

Wood chips for heating the prison complex will be produced from wood waste that will be leftover in the wood-processing center Šentrupert. It will be located in the former barracks called Puščava, where prisoners of open section are kept. They will also be the employees in this center. It is planned to be finished in 2015 and it will provide the longest concluded forest-wood chain of wood processing in Slovenia. The newly created jobs will be responsible for manufacturing wood structural elements, joiner and carpenter semi-finished products, final products... from wood raw material. Wood waste will be recycled into wood chips, briquettes, pellets, which will serve as fuel to create heat and electricity.