The citizens of Wolfhagen take centre stage in local energy turn-around
Since September 2012 Hesse’s biggest solar park – located in front of the city of Wolfhagen – produces electricity for 3.000 three-person households. Not far away, on the mountain Rödeser Berg, four wind power plants will be soon generating about 28 million KWh electricity. Then Wolfhagen will be producing exactly the amount of energy that it is consuming annually
In Wolfhagen, it is chiefly the public utilities that are implementing the energy change: They own 50 % of the PV park and the planned wind turbines will belong to them fully. Despite this central role, however, the citizens are not standing aside. Quite the contrary: Since 2012, a quarter of the public utilities have belonged to Wolfhagen’s citizens, organized in the Bürger Energie Genossenschaft Wolfhagen eG (BEG). As a shareholder, this cooperative uses its influence and supports the focus of the public utilities on renewable energy.
Membership in the BEG is open to all electricity customers of the Wolfhagen public utilities – and it’s attractive too: The members profit directly and indirectly from the economic success of the utilities: directly, through dividends that the BEG pays; indirectly, through the “Energy Savings Fund”, into which part of the BEG’s income flows. These means are used to develop promotional offerings: In this way, BEG members can lower their own energy consumption and thus make an important contribution to energy change, in which renewable energy production is just as important an element as increasing energy efficiency.