Mureck as a role model for an energy autonomous region

Mr. Karl Totter
Published by Suzana Vurunic on 06/10/2014

Slovenski E - forum we have invited representative of Austrian municipality Mureck to present their experience at the award ceremony for the most energy efficient Slovenian municipality in 2014. Mureck is an example of best practice where local energy sources have enabled not only 100 % energy self-sufficiency but also important social and economic impacts.

The success story was introduced by Senior manager Mr. ÖKR Karl Totter. The first ideas on local energy production came along in the year 1985. The first project started two years later, when they poured biodiesel in a tractor for the first time. Then they established Mureck Energy Park. On an area of 8 hectares there are 8 companies where energy is produced by photovoltaic panels, vegetables are grown and rapeseed is being produced for energy purposes. Mr. Totter has emphasized the importance of several decentralized devices. The value of investments in the energy park was 33 mil €, all by individuals from the region. They create 18 mil € added value per year, which amounts to 2,000 € per capita in the region! In this way they also reduced CO2 emissions by 60,000 tons per year.

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Mr. Totter presented their circuit of production and use of rapeseed. They process it into biodiesel and residues are used to feed livestock. 1 ton of rapeseed in terms of linear process creates 300 € of added value, while through circuit process the added value is 500 €. A similar circuit is used for used vegetable oil (residue from households and restaurants).

In the region more energy is produced then consumed – as much as 84 % of surplus. There are 95 % of needs for heating covered, 110 % of electricity needs and 2500 % of consumption in sector of mobility! These last two data indicate regions export activity, especially of biodiesel.

Region Mureck has won many prestigious awards for performance in energy self-sufficiency like: 1st place at the World Energy Globe (2001), Eurosolarpreis award, (2010), Primus award (2011) in 2nd place among small cities of the European RES Champions League (2013).

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Finally, and as the most important, Mr. Totter stressed the importance of community in decision making and implementation. The four most important values of inhabitants of the region Mureck are: nature, energy, region and peace.