Germany: ‘Energiewende’ Started Over Two Decades Ago, Says WWEC 2012
The World Wind Energy Association and the German Wind Energy Association welcome the presence of those 500 participants from 45 countries attending the conference, from wind and all other renewable energy technologies. The conference took place at a time which has brought “Energiewende” – the transformation of the energy system towards renewable energy – on the top of the political agenda and in the focus of public attention.
The conference covered all aspects of wind utilisation, related policies, manufacturing, development, operation as well as economic and social issues, with a special focus on how to involve citizens in renewable energy and mobilise them as active beneficiaries.
The conference underlines that the “Energiewende” has actually started on the community level more than two decades ago, in countries such as Denmark or Germany.
The conference had a great support by the governments and governmental organisations, especially of the City of Bonn, the Government of North Rhine-Westphalia including the Ministries for Climate Protection, Environment, Agriculture, Nature Conservation and Consumer Protection, as well as for Federal Affairs, Europe and the Media, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation & Nuclear Safety, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the European Union, GIZ, the Foundation for International Dialogue of the Savings Bank in Bonn, the International Renewable Energy Alliance, REN21 and all organisations and individuals enhancing the Conference.
International Renewable Energy Agency IRENA made a strong commitment and important contributions to the event.
The conference welcomes the scientifically substantiated statements made that a 100 % renewable energy supply can be reached worldwide in the foreseeable future, and specifically the decision by the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate to achieve a 100 % renewable electricity supply by the year 2020.
The Hepburn Community Wind Farm (Victoria, Australia) and its initiators have been awarded with the World Wind Energy Award 2012 for establishing the first and groundbreaking community initiative in Australia that led to a community owned wind farm, an excellent answer in particular in order to increase social understanding, distribution of benefits and acceptance of wind power.
The Conference urges especially the German Government and the European Union to continue the successful policy frameworks like in particular the feed-in legislation and to develop a comprehensive long-term strategy that includes community power and local integration of renewable energies as key components. Recent decisions have lead to uncertainty amongst potential investors, and may have detrimental impact especially on community based investments
The concept of Community Power receives more and more common support worldwide, as also reflected in the very broad participation in this conference, by communities from all over the world.
The conference encourages communities around the world to become renewable energy champions by harvesting the renewable energies in their environment. Governments are called upon to support these communities with dedicated policies.
The conference recognises that training and education have to be key elements of a strategy that aims at mainstreaming community power.
In addition the Conference supports the following objectives, policies and actions to:
- remove gradually all subsidies and introduce the internalisation of all externalities to achieve a level playing field;
- pursue compensatory regulatory frameworks such as sufficient and effective feed-in tariffs that encourage renewable energy developments until this is achieved, and that provide sufficient financial security to promote long-term investment, especially for smaller and community based investors;
- focus on the integration of wind power into existing power systems also on the local and community level, create smart grids and enhance decentralised synergies between the various renewable energy solutions in order to achieve an integrated 100 % renewable energy supply in the foreseeable future;
- intensify the close cooperation with IRENA on the implementation of its work programme and contribute to its further refinement;
- raise the political and social awareness on all levels of society and in particular amongst local communities and enable them to obtain access to the necessary knowledge and technologies;
- create a stronger focus on community power in existing governmental, international, education, research and financial institutions;
- reduce overall costs for energy supply by an increasing share of renewable energy power and by a stronger focus on least-cost decentralised options for 100 % renewable energy;
- develop and expand national, regional and international financing mechanisms for renewable energy, especially making use of funds provided as part of the international climate change negotiations, and ensure that the Global Green Climate Fund gives priority to renewable energy and community based projects;
- support communities especially in developing countries in obtaining easier access to technology and finance;
- encourage all wind energy stakeholders to participate in the next World Wind Energy Conference which will be held in Havana, Cuba, 3 to 5 June 2013.
Offshore WIND staff, July 6, 2012; Image: WWEC