The Lower Bavarian market town of Pfeffenhausen is ambitiously driving forward the expansion of renewables in the town with citizens’ energy cooperatives.
This commitment secured the municipality the contract for the construction of a hydrogen center and government subsidies of over 100 million euros.
From 2023, local renewable electricity from Markt Pfeffenhausen will be used to produce green hydrogen.
Green hydrogen from Markt Pfeffenhausen
Alongside Chemnitz, Duisburg and a North German consortium, Markt Pfeffenhausen also successfully applied to become a site for a national hydrogen center in 2021. This is associated with federal funding of 72.5 million euros. The project is being supported by the Free State of Bavaria with a further 30 million euros.
The success of the application is closely linked to the municipality’s energy strategy. The municipality, with a population of just over 5,000, offered itself as a location for a local citizens’ energy cooperative because of its existing generation capacities and other projects in the planning stage (for example, a 14-megawatt open-space photovoltaic plant).
The transformation of the energy system not only creates value locally, but also helps to close the gap in power generation that will result from the shutdown of the Isar II nuclear reactor located in the neighboring municipality in December.
At the same time, coupling the renewable energy plants to the planned electrolyzer prevents the plants from being shut down when the local power grid cannot absorb additional electricity on sunny or windy days. “Markt Pfeffenhausen impressively demonstrates how investments in climate-friendly energies can positively shape structural change in rural regions,” says Dr. Robert Brandt, managing director of the Renewable Energy Agency. “It’s not about sticking to technologies from the past century, but seizing opportunities to help shape a renewable energy system that will be needed to meet the challenges of the coming years.”
Solar energy and biogas as the basis for regional energy transition
The foundation for the expansion of renewable energies in the community was laid – as in many places – by the Renewable Energy Sources Act. The attractive subsidies convinced many farmers in the market town early on to use their expansive barn roofs to generate electricity. In combination with progressive urban land use planning by the local council, investments in biogas plants were also made in addition to solar power in the following years, so that the tranquil village now has an installed capacity of 23 megawatts from ground-mounted PV plants and 23 megawatts from biogas plants. In addition, there are 4.7 megawatts of wind energy and electricity generated by PV on the roofs of private and municipal buildings.
Currently, the municipality is increasingly focusing on the topic of renewable heat. In cooperation with the energy efficiency network and the Landshut University of Applied Sciences, the possibilities of a local heating network are being examined. The municipality’s clear goal is to continue reducing its dependence on fossil fuels and to make its heat supply as climate-neutral as possible in the long term.
The detailed portrait of the energy municipality of the month can be found here: www.unendlich-viel-energie.de/projekte/energie-kommunen/energie-kommune-des-monats-markt-pfeffenhausen.
The Agentur für Erneuerbare Energien e.V. (AEE) (Agency for Renewable Energies) does a lot of convincing for the energy turnaround. It has set itself the task of informing people about the opportunities and advantages of an energy supply based on renewable energies – from climate protection and a secure energy supply to regional value creation. It works on a cross-party and cross-society basis and, as a registered association, is not profit-oriented. The general press and public relations work is financed by annual contributions from companies and some renewable energy associations. In addition, AEE regularly applies for communication projects from funding bodies such as ministries, the EU and foundations.