Search
Close this search box.
Search

"SOMEONE HAS TO DO THE JOB!": IN CONVERSATION WITH BEG KÖLLERTAL

Citizen participation is an important pillar of the energy transition. This is exemplified by the Köllertal citizen energy cooperative, whose board of directors we had the opportunity to talk to about its founding and current projects: Board of BEG-Köllertal eG from left to right: Karl Werner Götzinger, Manfred Burger, Wolfgang Theobald. (Photo: Bürger-Energie-Genossenschaft Köllertal eG)
Citizen participation is an important pillar of the energy transition. This is exemplified by the Köllertal citizen energy cooperative, whose board of directors we had the opportunity to talk to about its founding and current projects: Board of BEG-Köllertal eG from left to right: Karl Werner Götzinger, Manfred Burger, Wolfgang Theobald. (Photo: Bürger-Energie-Genossenschaft Köllertal eG)
On the beginnings of BEG Köllertal and the funding by Grüner Strom-Label / Background discussion with BEG Köllertal chairman Karl Werner Götzinger

Share this post

On 07 May 2015, the Bürger-Energie-Genossenschaft Köllertal eG was founded in the training home of the OGV Herchenbach by 15 "convincers". In the meantime, many photovoltaic projects have been implemented and it is possible to purchase green electricity from the Bürger-Energie-Genossenschaft (BEG). One of them is the photovoltaic system on the roof of the KITA in Püttlingen, which was made possible by the subsidies of the Green Electricity Label. Which further projects the BEG Köllertal is planning and how the Grüner Strom Label has supported not only projects but also the foundation - all answers to this in the interview with BEG Köllertal board member Karl Werner Götzinger!

Melanie Alberts:
Mr. Götzinger, on your Homepage you write that the BEG Köllertal was founded in 2015 by "people of conviction". Briefly on this: How did it all come about, how many people were there at the first meeting and how did your position as a board member come about?

Karl Werner Götzinger:
The origins of our cooperative actually date back to 2013, when the power supply in a small district of the municipality of Heusweiler was switched to underground cables. A senior citizen, Sigurd Kautz, born in 1941, who had been involved in the anti-nuclear movement for decades, remembered the beginnings of his electricity supplier, the EWS - Elektrizitätswerke Schönau. He wanted to do the same and buy up the superfluous above-ground power grid infrastructure that existed after the changeover.
He organized a meeting in the village pub on a private basis. The response was staggering - almost 100 people, also from the surrounding communities, blew up the premises.
The project was never realized, but that evening it brought together the people who would go on to become the founders of the Bürger-Energie-Genossenschaft Köllertal eG. Sigurd Kautz is of course also one of them and is still a member of the supervisory board.

Melanie Alberts:
A start-up is always associated with problems and obstacles - which ones did you encounter and who supported you on your way?

Karl Werner Götzinger:
The idea of founding a citizens' energy cooperative was obvious from the beginning, but we had no experience with it. Here, too, the Elektrizitätswerke Schönau and a neighboring BEG helped. They explained to us the requirements for a cooperative, such as statutes, association membership, registration, association auditing and the associated costs. They recommended that we first found a support association, introduce ourselves to the surrounding communities and look for a suitable start-up project - and that's exactly what we did. Two years after founding the association, we found a suitable start-up project. The city of Püttlingen remembered the passage in its climate protection concept according to which it would support the founding of a citizen energy cooperative. The council unanimously decided to make the roof of a daycare center available for a start-up project of the BEG.
So it came then on 07.05.2015 to the foundation with 15 members, who are also actively involved since then. Regarding my position as chairman of the board, I can actually only quote Udo Lindenberg: "Someone has to do the job!" But please don't misunderstand, the job is fun. It gives me, and I'm sure the other members of the Board of Management and Supervisory Board, a great deal of satisfaction. We see that we can really get something going and make a difference for our children - that's great!

Melanie Alberts:
Your startup, as well as several of your energy projects, received funding through Green Electricity Certification. How and in what way did the funding help you?

Karl Werner Götzinger:
It was particularly important for us to promote the founding of the cooperative itself and the start-up project. The active members of BEG's board of directors and supervisory board feel a special responsibility to handle our members' money and to justify the trust placed in us. The support provided by the Green Electricity Certification made it much easier for us to take this step into unknown territory.
I think that without this security-giving support, it would probably have remained rather with the founding desire.

Melanie Alberts:
You have already implemented exciting projects - what's next?

Karl Werner Götzinger:
We have a number of ideas. These range from further PV projects, not only with public partners but also with companies in the region, to possible storage solutions and LED street lighting projects, to eCar charging stations or even "mobility as a service" solutions for our members, which will certainly not be our next project.
Absolutely encouraging for the board is that we have seen a steady increase in members and have been able to collect the required equity capital for each new project within a very short time so far. Our members signal to us at every opportunity that we should strive for further projects. We then do the same and put up with it if some projects have to wait longer in the pipeline for realization because political election campaigns and color games are prioritized by some players.

Melanie Alberts:
The energy turnaround needs such strong and convinced players as you represent with your cooperative.
What would you recommend to other people who would like to become active for the environment themselves and possibly even found a BEG?

Karl Werner Götzinger:
In the case of a foundation, I would definitely recommend our path via an upstream association and calmly explore a start-up project that also fits the expected capitalization. As an association, you can practice dealing with the local press and local politicians, and establish contacts with BEGs and associations. But there will always be opponents. You can also practice dealing with them very well in the form of the association. Our tip here is: "Keep calm - factual discussion always, personal attacks never!"
When the time comes - dare - because as I said:
"Somebody has to do the job !"

Projects of the BEG Köllertal eG supported by the Grüner Strom-Label

The core component of the Green Electricity Seal is that for every kilowatt hour of green electricity consumed, a fixed amount is invested in new energy transition projects, such as photovoltaic systems, wind farms, e-mobility or even the establishment of citizen energy cooperatives.

With a five-digit amount, three exciting projects of the BEG Köllertal could already be advanced through Green Electricity Label funding.

The most recent project was associated with some exciting moments, so it was trembling until the very end whether the photovoltaic modules will make it across the North Sea in time. The modules were needed for a photovoltaic project in which Handwerkerpark Heusweiler.

Also with the Daycare center in Püttlingen has been relying on solar energy since 2015 - another successful project of BEG Köllertal. In the following year, the roof of the City Hall Riegelsberg no longer empty; here, too, the focus has been on green electricity since then.

 

Aerial view of the photovoltaic system on the Püttlingen daycare center co-financed by Grüner Strom-Label (Photo: Bürger-Energie-Genossenschaft Köllertal eG)

 

The PV modules made it across the North Sea in time and are now installed at Handwerkerpark Heusweiler. (Photo: Büger-Energie-Genossenschaft Köllertal eG)

other posts in the category

Blog

Green gas under the microscope

A recently published investigation by the non-profit media company "CORRECTIV" reveals that many German energy suppliers advertise their gas tariffs as environmentally friendly, even though they are far less green than advertised.

read more

Stay up to date

Sign up for our newsletter

Salutation*
     
Privacy*

Please also note our data protection.


Grüner Strom Label e.V. | Kaiserstrasse 113 | 53113 Bonn | Germany
Tel: +49 (0)228 / 522 611-90 | E-Mail: info@gruenerstromlabel.de

Want to learn more?

Then feel free to contact us and follow us on social media.

"SOMEONE HAS TO DO THE JOB!": IN CONVERSATION WITH BEG KÖLLERTAL

Welcome to the service portal

On this page you will find all the important documents about the Green Electricity and Green Gas Label.

Grüner Strom-Label

Here you can find all the documents about the Green Electricity Label.

Green electricity tariffs awarded with the Grüner Strom-Label guarantee investments in energy transition projects that are compatible with nature.

Green Gas Label

Here you can find all the documents about the Green Gas Label.

Grünes Gas-Label

Green electricity label

Links directly to the subsections:

Range 1

Range 1

Range 1

Range 1

Range 1

Green electricity tariffs awarded with the Grüner Strom-Label guarantee investments in energy transition projects that are compatible with nature.

Your contact person

Elisa Voß

Elisa Voß

Working student Online Communication

Range 1

PDF placeholder icon

catalog of criteria

The criteria catalog...

PDF placeholder icon

catalog of criteria

The criteria catalog...

placeholder image LibreOffice Calc

catalog of criteria

The criteria catalog...

PDF placeholder icon

catalog of criteria

The criteria catalog...

PDF placeholder icon

catalog of criteria

The criteria catalog...

Range 2

PDF placeholder icon

catalog of criteria

The criteria catalog...

PDF placeholder icon

catalog of criteria

The criteria catalog...

PDF placeholder icon

catalog of criteria

The criteria catalog...

PDF placeholder icon

catalog of criteria

The criteria catalog...

PDF placeholder icon

catalog of criteria

The criteria catalog...

Green Gas Label

Links directly to the subsections:

Range 1

Range 1

Range 1

Range 1

Range 1

Range 1

Grünes Gas-Label

Your contact

Gruener-Strom employee-Christian

Christian Knops

Green Gas Certification Manager

Range 1

PDF placeholder icon

catalog of criteria

The criteria catalog...

PDF placeholder icon

catalog of criteria

The criteria catalog...

placeholder image LibreOffice Calc

catalog of criteria

The criteria catalog...

PDF placeholder icon

catalog of criteria

The criteria catalog...

PDF placeholder icon

catalog of criteria

The criteria catalog...

Range 2

PDF placeholder icon

catalog of criteria

The criteria catalog...

PDF placeholder icon

catalog of criteria

The criteria catalog...

PDF placeholder icon

catalog of criteria

The criteria catalog...

PDF placeholder icon

catalog of criteria

The criteria catalog...

PDF placeholder icon

catalog of criteria

The criteria catalog...

Together for the energy turnaround

Your contact persons:inside

Elisa Voß

Elisa Voß

Working student Online Communication

Gruener-Strom employee-Christian

Christian Knops

Green Gas Certification Manager

Gruener-Strom employee-Nina

Nina Cernohorsky

Speaker Green Gas, Green Power Certification