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WinWind: Thematic Workshop of the German Stakeholder Desk held in Leipzig on June 20, 2018

News from Jun 21, 2018

Leipzig (target region Saxony) hosted the first thematic workshop of the WinWind German Desk. The workshop was jointly organised by the project coordinator Environmental Policy Research Centre of the Freie Universität Berlin (Rosaria Di Nucci and Michael Krug) and by seecon Ingenieure and took place in the headquarters of seecon. The event focused on the role of intermediary organisations, voluntary agreements and labelling/certifications systems as possible drivers for social acceptance.

The first workshop session focused on service units for wind energy as intermediary organisations and potential examples for transferable solutions to wind-energy-scarce regions. Ramona Notroff, head of Thuringia’s Service Unit Wind Energy (Servicestelle Windenergie) highlighted the functions of her unit and discussed the framework conditions necessary to establish such units and which tasks they cover.

Prior to Thuringia, the first of its kind service unit for wind energy was established in the county of Steinfurt, in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, in 2012. Thuringia’s service unit is largely based on the lessons learned in Steinfurt, which were presented by the head of the Department of Climate Protection and Sustainability of the county of Steinfurt (Amt für Klimaschutz und Nachhaltigkeit Kreis Steinfurt) Ulrich Ahlke. He also presented the guidelines for community wind energy in the county set up in 2011.

In the second workshop session, voluntary self-commitments of the wind industry and voluntary agreements between public actors and the wind industry were addressed as trust building measures. Two corresponding approaches of “Fair wind energy” labels in Thuringia (presented by Ramona Notroff) and Schleswig-Holstein (presented by Martin Jahn of the certifying company in Schleswig Holstein) were discussed with a public of 25 stakeholders mostly from the two WinWind target regions Saxony and Thuringia. As Ulrich Ahle stressed, “the energy transformation can only be a success if the citizens are actively involved”. In the final discussion, underlying guidelines, principles and criteria for citizen and community involvement in Steinfurt, Thuringia and Schleswig-Holstein were compared. The participants also debated aspects concerning how to build trust and spread the benefits of wind energy expansion to local stakeholders, including citizens, communities and local communities. The next thematic workshop will take place on October 18, 2018 in Erfurt (Thuringia).