"Model Güssing": a vision of energy self-sufficiency

4 100 (2011)

In 1990 the City of Güssing decided to put the vision of becoming 100% fossil fuel free and energy self-sufficient into practice. About 15 years later the City generates twice the electricity demand of the city’s private households, public buildings and industries and also about 85% of the heating demand is covered. Both have been achieved via decentralized local energy production using renewable sources available in the region (especially wood, biomass and solar). The set-up of new renewable energy facilities (e.g. biomass plants, district heating infrastructure) in turn attracted many companies as well as national and international research initiatives working in the field of renewable energy. Thus by and by Güssing not only became an example of best practices for the sustainable energy supply of a city but also a network for research on renewable energy technologies and eco-energy tourism. Subsequently the model has also been expanded to surrounding municipalities of Güssing, the overall region called “öko-energieland”.