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Table 1 Empirical study: overview of case studies

From: Decentralized electricity generation from renewable sources as a chance for local economic development: a qualitative study of two pioneer regions in Germany

Factor City of Emden (wind energy) City of Soltau (bioenergy)
Area, inhabitants 112 km2, 51,292 (12/2009) 203 km2, 21,856 (06/2008)
Grid operator(s) 1. Public utility (Stadtwerke Emden);
2. Public port authority (N-Ports); and
3. Private regional utility (EWE NETZ)
Only public utility (Stadtwerke Soltau)
Centralized electricity generation 1 Gas power plant and 1 biomass power plant (wood leftovers) 16 Wind turbines
Decentralized electricity generation
(installed capacity)
75 Wind turbines (approximately 143 MW installed/approved); 120 photovoltaic facilities (approximately 1 MW); 1 sewer-gas plant
Produce, together with central biomass plant, is ca. 100% of electricity consumption in Emden
11 Biogas plants (approximately 10 MW); fossil combined heat and power plant; photovoltaic facilities
Produce is 85% of consumed power in grid area of which 68% are from biogas plants
Origin/pioneers Long tradition:
• Erection of first wind turbine for pumping water in the 1980s
• City passed formal regulation relatively early (ROP, FNP 1994) and commissions public utility with installing first turbine
Initiative of agricultural actors in the mid-1990s:
• Formation of a biogas working group
• Erection of first plants close to farms
  1. Adapted from various official sources and expert interviews.