The councils driving local energy production

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 more, subscribe below)

David Boyle

David Boyle

David Boyle is a director of the New Weather Institute.


  • Kiron Reid

    That record in Germany is impressive. Although it is an incinerator, Nottingham having its own district energy plant, still wholly owned by the Council, is impressive. It powers a large part of the city centre. I thought it was a brewery when I walked past the other day (that’s on the other side of the station).

    Can ordinary homeowners in British cities realistically do micro-generation? Are expensive solar panels the only realistic option? I guess I should ask Donnachadh McCarthy for a start.

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