The city of Emden, Germany is committed to 100% renewable energy

The city of Emden uses large windmills to produce energy © Stadt Emden

Since the late 1980s the city of Emden (approx. 52,000 residents) in German Friesland has been committed to making the city more sustainable. It started with free recommendations for the citizens and businesses to better isolate the buildings, integrated installation advice and subsidies for energy-efficient appliances, heat pumps and solar collectors.

In addition, wind farms have been built which provide 117% (240 MWh/a) of the electric energy for homes. Furthermore, photo-voltaic panels have been installed on a noise barrier along the motorway, on an old bunker and on a gymnasium. Emden also has a geothermal installation.

Of the two outdoor swimming pools, one receives half of its heat from thermal solar collectors; for the other pool that figure is 100%. There is a biomass cogeneration (CHP) plant that runs on wood waste from the harbour. Because of its pro-active energy policies, Emden has won many European and national awards and was the energy capital of Europe. Its energy policies stimulate economic development and have made Emden an attractive location for business []. In 2008 Emden produced nearly 100% of its energy demand sustainably. Erhorn-Kluttig et al., 2011