Fig. 4: Overview of the work structure in Saerbeck.
© Saerbeck community
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Award winning commitment from the Saerbeck climate community

In 2008, the Municipal Council of Saerbeck in North-Rhine Westphalia decided to convert its energy supply to renewable energies and renewable raw materials. Its declared aim is to achieve climate neutrality by 2030, whereby as much energy will be produced from sun, wind, water and biomass as is consumed. The project is closely linked to the Agenda 21 strategy implemented by the District of Steinfurt. By the end of 2007, the district had already managed to reduce its CO2 emissions by a quarter, for which it was awarded the European Energy Award and the 2009 German Solar Prize.

An “Integrated climate protection and climate adaptation concept” was drawn up by December 2008. In terms of the energy balance, it aims to achieve energy self-sufficiency by 2030, whereby the local authority will be climate neutral by 2018. The researchers are supporting the local community with no less than 150 individual measures, of which 25 will be implemented in the near future. The “Saerbecker Sonnenseite” model project is determining efficiency potentials for private and commercial building stock. In the model project “Saerbecker Einsichten – Erneuerbare Energien transparent gemacht”, a “see-through” heating centre with a glass facade supplies heat to a local heating network. An “energy experience” path provides an insight into renewable energies. The central element of the third model project, “Steinfurter Stoffströme”, is the development of a 90-hectare site belonging to a former munitions depot to form a bioenergy farm. Here it is planned to install photovoltaic systems on 70 bunkers as well as to construct seven wind turbines. In addition there will be four biogas plants, which in addition to producing biogas will also be used for converting fermentation residues into fertiliser. A bioenergy competence centre is also being created, which will incorporate research institutions such as the Münster University of Applied Sciences and environmental education facilities.


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Universität Kassel