‘Local Energy’ Changing Germany’s Power Grid

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Bob Best
Energy and Sustainability Services


“Local Foods” is a collaborative effort to build more locally based self-reliant food economies.  It encourages the processing and consumption of food to be integrated into local economies.

Germany has taken this concept and applied it to energy, creating “Local Energy.”

An article in the July 15th Wall Street Journal (Bioenergy Revs Up in Germany, Nina Adam) describes how the residents of Jühnde came together to build a bioenergy plant fueled by local plant matter and manure.  They pooled their resources to build a bioenergy plant and its infrastructure.  The village farmers supply the biomass to the (CHP) plant that produces both electricity and usable heat for the rest of the village.  It produces enough energy for Jühnde, as well as a surplus that it sells back to Germany’s national power grid. 

The effort has inspired over 90 other German villages to support local bioenergy and become self-sufficient energy producers.  Now, small-scale producers are the dominate source of growth in Germany’s renewable energy sector.  A shift to more renewable energy sources is an important move for Germany, as they plan to shut down their nuclear energy plants by 2022.  

 Other countries take note … the answer to future energy needs might be in your own backyard.

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