As Germany struggles with the energy crisis triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, BBC News have visited the Bavarian town of Abensberg where the residents have a goal of being self-sufficient in electricity by 2030.
Abensberg has been a pioneer in the adoption of solar panels on residents’ homes. BBC reporter Bethany Bell describes how outside of the town’s traditional centre many houses have solar panels installed on their roofs, and they are even placed on top of the Kuchlbauer brewery.
On a sunny day, even if the temperature is cold, the town can produce 90% of the energy it needs to use. However, the issue arrives that when it is dark or cloudy, then locals must rely on electricity provided by the national grid.
The mayor, Uwe Brandl, has been instrumental in leading the town’s solar revolution. He told the BBC that Abensberg’s municipal utilities had teamed up with a larger energy company to create the town’s own electricity provider. Through this company, local solar and other renewable energy producers and consumers are currently supplying 1,700 customers, offering considerably cheaper prices than normal. He adds that his goal is that by 2030 the town will not only be self-sufficient but will “produce 300% of the electricity it needs, with photovoltaic systems, biomass, wind and water power”.
Local climate activists recognise that they still have a long way to go when it comes to the town being entirely self-sufficient but are determined to works towards that goal.
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