Published: 5th Feb 2014

Rising fuel prices and climate change are pushing energy to the top of the agenda, and local government is taking steps towards  self-sufficiency. Which councils are leading the way towards localised energy production?  It may be that the tiny Black Forest village of Schönau represents the future, at least as far as energy is concerned. After the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, local people began to plan how the might generate their own renewable energy.  Ten years later, they took the opportunity to take over their local electricity grid themselves. It was a small step and celebrated as a David-versus-Goliath battle against the big energy suppliers, but now – a generation later – the same pattern is being repeated in the big German cities too. What’s more, Schönau’s own community energy supplier, EWS, has 140,000 clients all over country.  They are even supplying people across the border in Switzerland and … (To read the full article, subscribe below)