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The goal of the EU-Project Energy Region is the effective development of distributed renewable energy. Eleven teams from four countries– from Poland, the Czech republic, Slowenia and Germany, are looking to make the energy transition happen.

My name is Kirsten Hasberg and I´m passionate about energy democracy. That´s why I´m visiting the participants of ENERGYREGION. In Kassel, Germany, I´m invited to the Climate and Energy Efficiency Agency KEEA. Thomas Duwe and Armin Raatz are working out solutions for the future energy supply based on wind, hydro and solar power, on biomass and geothermal energy.

Armin Raatz, Managing director, KEEA, Thomas Duwe, Project Manager, KEEA
”What role does KEEA play in the project?”
”We´re contributing with our know-how on the development of energy and climate action plans, gained during the last couple of years. We´ve dealt with questions on regional value creation and worked on different aspects of citizen participation so far.”

”And, a climate action plan, an energy action plan, what is that, really?”

”Well, in principle, such a plan starts with an energy balance. One takes a look: What´s the energy consumption? How is it distributed? Then, we look for energy savings potentials, and ask ourselves, where is there potential for the use of renewable energy?”

„Do you have any personal experience in the field of energy efficiency?“

„Yes, I do. We´ve got our own house just around the corner which we´ve refurbished completely. Let´s take a look at it!“

When Armin Raatz bought the house in 2006, it was in a very bad state. Along with it came very high energy costs. He couldn´t find any new tenants, and he decided to take action and renovate sustainably.

Armin Raatz, Managing Director of KEEA, Thomas Duwe, Project Manager, KEEA
„I do see the solar panels, but what´s more been done with the house?“

„We´ve insulated the house all way round, and we´ve replaced the windows to state-of-the-art technology, and then, we´ve installed a ventilation system, so that although the house is now very well insulated, a good exchange of air is possible.
And, we´ve installed a solar thermal collector on the dormers.“

„We´ll also include the project on the forthcoming EU-Project list of best practice examples. It´s about making people able to take action themselves. In that context, we´re creating a catalogue of measures. What is possible, really? In the field of insulation for example, as we see it here. But also: „What can I actually do with renewable energies on my own house?“

„In part, the access to knowledge is complicated, one doesn’t really understand. If you truly want to do it, it´s important that there´s someone around who cares. Someone who is sort of a helping hand and shows what´s really possible.“
„This house for example, I´d say it has contributed to the fact that another four or five houses in the neighbourhood have been refurbished to a similar standard.“

To motivate citizens to their own, decentralized Energy-Wende is an important part of Energy Region.
And KEEA thinks beyond the region of Northern Hessen:

Armin Raatz, Managing Director of KEEA, Thomas Duwe, Project Manager, KEEA
„What role does the region play in the EU-Project?“
„Well, Northern Hesse is a model region in the EU-Project. This means: We look at how we can make things happen, along with the people in this region.“
„Yes, and KEEA is a key contributor.“

„We´re contributing with our mode of thought which we´ve already developed quite far here in our region. How can stakeholders in a region improve their collective action? We´ve got several research institutes and networks within this field. In recent years, we´ve seen a significant economic upturn, which was also fuelled by renewable energy. And I do believe that these are important impulses. Signals, which we can transfer into this project and where we can show, where this development can lead, if you do it really well.“

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