The majority of Europeans now cautiously open their energy bills, anticipating large price rises as utility companies pass along the growing cost of electricity, natural gas, and oil related with Russia’s involvement in Ukraine.
By reducing the heat and turning off the lights in winter, many people are attempting to save money. For the 130 people who live in Feldheim, however, this is not the case.
This small town, located about one and a half hours south of Berlin, has been energy independent for more than ten years, according to reports.
Feldheim constructed a few wind turbines to provide the locality with electricity as part of a dangerous experiment that started in the middle of the 1990s. In addition, it built more turbines, solar panels, battery storage, and a community grid.
Expansion of a biogas plant used to keep piglets warm increased the farmers’ cooperative’s profits. This cooperative circulates hot water through the central heating system for the entire community.
Reportedly, a plant for making hydrogen is also being constructed in which 55 wind turbines can now be seen but not heard on the sloping farmlands near Feldheim.
The area’s residents are taking advantage of some of Germany’s lowest electricity and natural gas rates.
While Germany still imports fossil fuels for most of its needs, Feldheim’s approach to producing its eco-friendly energy draws thousands of tourists worldwide each year.
This became clear when Russia invaded Ukraine, upsetting Germany and numerous other European countries reliance on Moscow’s oil, coal, and natural gas.
More than half of Germany’s gross power production in the first half of the year came from fossil fuels and nuclear power, despite massive investments in developing renewable energy to reduce emissions that contribute to global warming.
Due to a lack of sufficient transmission capacity, wind farms in the north frequently need to be shut down. At the same time, fossil fuel facilities are started to deliver electricity to businesses in the south.
Feldheim’s mayor, Michael Knape, stated that enabling locals to participate and profit from the initiative was crucial to Feldheim’s success. Treuenbrietzen encompasses Feldheim.
Feldheim has so many turbines that it exports about 250 times as much electricity as it uses. Still, wind parks in other parts of Germany occasionally run into opposition, notably in some economically struggling villages.