Who are you and how long have you been part of the Grüner Strom Label e.V. team?
Christian, 40, geographer, science fiction fan and a bit of a globetrotter. I have been part of the Grüner Strom Label e.V. team for ten years.
How did you decide to work for Grüner Strom Label e.V.?
I got to know renewable energies in the course of my studies and during an internship. After a small detour via the IT industry, I came back to renewables and really wanted to work in this field. At that time, I was still living in Berlin. When I saw the job offer at Grüner Strom Label e.V., in the beautiful Rhineland, my home, I applied. The rest is legend... 😉
What exactly do you do at Grüner Strom Label e.V. and what motivates you about your work?
In recent years, I have been responsible for communications and marketing. Do good and talk about it' - I think that's immensely important. With my skills, I want to help make the energy transition more understandable and thus advance it. Actually, renewable energies aren't that complicated, but the industry manages quite well to get lost in technical discussions and simply doesn't communicate well.
I am also responsible for the Grünes Gas-Label, our biogas label. That is currently quite exciting, stressful and demands a lot of flexibility. But here I learn something new practically every day. The biogas label and the topic of product development will take up more of my time in the future.
What do you think are the biggest challenges in the biogas market?
That is difficult to answer, especially at the moment. I think it will be important in the future how we deal with existing plants that will no longer be subsidized after 20 years. What potential is there for converting from electricity to biomethane production and feed-in?
We also need to leverage more potential from residual materials here, i.e. biowaste, crop residues and animal excrement. We are literally throwing away a raw material from which storable energy can be produced.
The self-image in the biogas industry must also change. The sector is and will become valuable, not only as an energy producer, but also as a basic material supplier for industry and production. If we manage to implement an ecologically sustainable area-wide biogas production from biogenic residues, this can be a first important step towards decarbonization of the industry in Germany.
How has your work changed in the 10 years you've been working here?
We have managed to reinvent ourselves in recent years. That's what comes to mind when I ask this question. From the initial central wall calendar to digital collaboration tools, from meetings at the table to pinboards and flipcharts in a standing circle, and from reactive work to professional project management and resource planning.
This and the possibility to hire new colleagues has given us a whole new, I would even say start-up drive.
When I started, we were three employees, now we are nine. We have become more professional, more innovative and more self-confident. All of this is now reflected in our own small corporate culture.
What was your highlight in the last few years at Grüner Strom Label e.V.?
One highlight was definitely when a colleague stuck her finger in a Coke bottle and couldn't get it out. But probably other highlights were in demand...
When we were still running physical events before Corona, the Energiewendeforum 2019 was already a personal highlight. We managed the event completely on our own; through participation fees and raising support funds, we were able to make this 6th Energy Transition Forum truly break even for the first time.
The evaluation after the event was also great - the Energy Transition Forum had established itself.
Another small personal highlight was the recording of a podcast episode in 2021, where I interviewed two experts on the energy transition in Bangladesh and Nepal - live. As a geographer, my heart just sank...