Small Austrian town 100% renewable energy powered

Small Austrian town 100% renewable energy poweredThe Austrian community of Gussing says the successful story of a small town, with only 4.000 inhabitants, which 20 years ago had a poor economy, a huge rate of unemployment and most people living only from agriculture. Now it earns over 17 million dollars only from energy selling and it is completely energy self-sufficient.

When in 1988 the energy bill costs where 8 million dollars, some local leaders thought this amount could remain in the local budget if the town could generate its own electricity. In 1990 all the public buildings were isolated and the bulbs from the public lights were replaced with new energy-efficient ones. This way, the energy bill costs dropped by almost 50% regarding the public buildings in the centre town.

Few years later, a heating plant was installed using wood biomass, taking into account the fact the town is surrounded by forests, the feedstock is plenty. The installation produced enough heat for only six homes, but the mayor extended the system to all community in 1996.

In 2001, a biomass gasification plant was built with governmental funds, producing 2 MW of electricity and 4.5 of heat, enough for all homes in Gussing, and all this using only a third of the biomass produced annually in the area.

Now, the town became flourishing: it has 60 new companies, 1,500 new jobs and 17 million dollars profit from selling the excess of electricity.

Source: CleanTechnica

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