Georgia, a country where the sun is often in the sky - ideal conditions for the production of clean energy from solar plants. However, the lived reality in Georgia smokes; heat for heating and water is often still produced in wood stoves. This not only reduces the quality of living, but is also bad for the environment. Forests are being cut down and the air polluted, a state that the WECF e.V. sustainable change - supported by funding from the Green Electricity Label.
Citizens get down to work for the energy turnaround: The project laid an important foundation for sustainable energy production between October 2017 and December 2018. The project has demonstrated sustainable and economic business models for energy production with citizen participation. Creating a better understanding of renewable energy with citizen participation was one of the most important project goals.
Armenia now trains with solar energy
The project has already made a difference: In addition to a general rethinking of energy supply, a photovoltaic system has also been installed at a training center in Ayrudzi, Armenia: "Interested citizens learn how they can produce their own electricity that is consumed locally. This creates further interest in renewable energies and the energy transition itself. At the same time, we are creating local added value and thus jobs in the medium term," says Katharina Habersbrunner, head of Climate and Energy at the WECF e.V.
Women's Power for the Energy Transition in Georgia
As part of the project, the umbrella cooperative Heliotech was founded in Georgia. In various regions of Georgia, a total of 114 women took part in "Women Embassador Trainings", which were carried out by the cooperative itself. The aim was to train women in the subject of solar energy to such an extent that they could then pass on their newly acquired knowledge to other women, so that more and more women in Georgia would be able to use solar energy. Georgian households no longer get their energy from the stove, but from the roof.
Subsidies for the local energy transition: The subsidies required to implement the project steps were provided, among other things, by subsidies from the Green Electricity Label. For each kilowatt hour of certified green electricity, a fixed amount goes directly into energy transition projects. A total of 55 million euros has already been invested in 1,300 projects. Most of the projects are being implemented in Germany, but there are also pioneering pilot projects abroad.
The success of the project encourages the partners to cooperate with NGOs in Moldova and Ukraine in the future in order to spread the idea of energy cooperatives: "The project partners are very interested in energy cooperatives and were also able to found cooperatives in the partner countries. Citizens get involved on a voluntary basis and promote a democratic and citizen-oriented energy transition," explains Katharina Habersbrunner proudly.
Photovoltaic system on the training center in Ayrudzi, Armenia (Photo: WECF e.V.)
Community Council Meeting of the Energy Cooperative in Armenia (Photo: WECF e.V.)