21. New life for rural areas
Across the country, municipalities and their citizens already use solar, wind, biomass, hydro and geothermal energy to provide clean energy – and in the future they will use it even more.
Wind, solar, bioenergy and co. are mainly produced in the countryside. The population there is often actively involved in the development of renewable energy. Just think of solar panels on roofs, participation in community wind farms or in energy cooperatives.
According to a study by Klaus Novy Institute, Bavaria, Lower Saxony and Baden-Württemberg have the highest density of energy cooperatives relative to their population. They are followed by Schleswig-Holstein, Bremen and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
Many rural regions are affected by migration. Renewable energy can set in motion a different development. Municipalities, cities and entire regions have become pioneers in terms of promoting the transition to renewables. With their wind and solar farms, their biomass and geothermal plants, they are increasingly replacing the few conventional large-scale power plants.
The energy supply of the future is a decentralized one. Key players for the energy transition in rural areas are farmers. For many of them, the use of renewable energy has become an important second pillar. In an agricultural environment that is characterized by strong price fluctuations, renewable energies create an economic counterweight.