Green energy village Ebenweiler
Energy transition means: taking responsibility. Considering the wellbeing of people and the environment in daily activities, also specifically in the supply of energy and heat. They should be renewable and independent. In the community of Ebenweiler, located north of Ravensburg, the energy transition is a neighbourhood project. And where responsibility is shared and the transition of energy systems is promoted jointly, success is not long in coming. The large-scale project “Green Energy Village Ebenweiler” demonstrates this in a very special way.
This project was recognized by the Ministry for the Environment, Climate and Energy Economics Baden-Württemberg for its special contribution to the energy transition.
A neighbourhood on the move
The people of Ebenweiler have long been campaigning for the energy transition. In addition to private photovoltaic systems, there was already a high proportion of wood heating systems in place before the “Green Energy Village” project was launched. In 2013, the citizens decided to join forces to become even more independent from fossil energy sources. They founded the cooperative “Bürger-Energie Ebenweiler eG” with the aim of realising an independent local heating network based on regional added value. More than 100 of the 380 Ebenweiler households are now supplied with climate-friendly heat.
Regional added value: Locally-sourced energy
Major municipal projects of the energy transition, such as local heating networks, can only succeed if everyone participates and collaborates. Ebenweiler has grasped this: Here, the community administration, local companies and citizens work together. Energiehof Geßler & Gläser GbR is responsible for heat generation and the operation of the biogas plant. The cooperative is responsible for distributing the heat via the heating network. Among others, the company Cupasol from Ravensburg was involved in the technical implementation. In the Energy Village, value is consistently added close by.
A sustainable concept – in every respect
The heart of the green energy village is an existing biogas plant on the village outskirts, which is operated by committed farmers. The plant supplies the local heating network with climate-neutral waste heat. For this purpose, the biogas is used to generate electricity in a combined heat and power unit (CHP). The resulting waste heat is available for the heating network. A heat storage unit with a capacity of 3,000 m³ rounds off the concept. The large heat storage unit shifts large quantities of heat from autumn to winter and supplies additional heat when the heat from the biogas plant is not sufficient. The heat generated here is transported and delivered to a large part of the village, such as public buildings, church properties and numerous private households, via a heating network that is currently 5.7 kilometer long. Every year Ebenweiler saves up to 650 tonnes of CO₂. By comparison, about 1000 return flights between Stuttgart and Berlin emit an equivalent amount of CO₂.
A local heating network offers more than sustainability and local added value. It can also be expanded flexibly. Currently, the heating network is being extended by a new development area: an added section of 3.3 kilometer will enable a total of more than 70 new buildings to be supplied in a climate-friendly way. To cover the additional heat demand, a woodchip boiler is planned as a further renewable heat source.
A commitment that is seen and valued
Ebenweiler’s commitment to the energy transition is noticed, appreciated and supported beyond the municipal level: The project was funded by the state of Baden-Württemberg with over 500,000 Euro. As part of the “Energy transition in action” award, the community was recognised by the Ministry of the Environment as a place full of energy. And sustainable energy is something the people of Ebenweiler have in the truest sense of the word. Here, each individual assumes responsibility for a common, major goal: independent and climate-neutral heat supply.