The Success Stories

German Village Produces 321% More Energy Than It Needs!

The village’s green initiative first started in 1997 when the village council decided that it should build new industries, keep initiatives local, bring in new revenue, and create no debt. Over the past 14 years, the community has equipped 9 new community buildings with solar panels, built 4 biogas digesters (with a fifth in construction now) and installed 7 windmills with two more on the way in 2011. In the village itself, 190 private households have solar panels while the district also benefits from 3 small hydro power plants, ecological flood control, and a natural waste water system.

All of these green systems means that despite only having a population of 2,600, Wildpoldsried produces 321 percent more energy than it needs – and it’s generating 4 million Euro (US $5.7 million) in annual revenue by selling it back to the national grid. It is no surprise to learn that small businesses have developed in the village specifically to provide services to the renewable energy installations.

Over the years the village’s green goals have been so successful that they have even crafted a mission statement — WIR–2020, Wildpoldsried Innovativ Richtungsweisend (Wildpoldsried Innovative Leadership). The village council hopes that it will inspire citizens to do their part for the environment and create green jobs and businesses for the local area.

As a result of the village’s success, Wildpoldsried has received numerous national and international awards for its conservation and renewable energy initiatives known as Klimaschutz (climate protection). The council hosts tours for other village councils on how to start their own Klimaschutz program. Since the Futushima disaster, the Mayor has even been giving conferences on the topic of energy saving.