Study visit to Germany for new knowledge in introducing municipal energy management departments

From 26 to 30.06.2023, the partners of the MANAGERS – Energy Managers in Municipalities project visited Germany to learn about the experience of municipalities and state institutions in energy management. The project is funded within the framework of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI) of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Management.

The study visit was attended by representatives of NTEF, experts from the Sofena Energy Agency (a project partner), as well as experts from the municipalities of Ruse, Sapareva Banya and Svilengrad. The mayor of Svilengrad, Mr. Anastas Karchev, personally joined the delegation. These are the three pilot municipalities that participate in the implementation of the project.

The participants visited the State Energy Agency of Saxony – Anhalt LENA in Magdeburg, where they were thoroughly acquainted with the German experience in implementing energy management at the municipal level.

On 28.06.2023, representatives of the Independent Institute for Environmental Issues – UFU (project partner and host of the study visit) presented in the city of Berlin the technical aspects of energy management in municipalities.

The third day of the visit caused the greatest interest for everyone, when the small town of Troyenbritzen in the municipality of Feldheim with its 130 inhabitants was visited. As early as 1995, its residents united around the idea of energy independence, and in 2008 this became a reality with the commissioning of 50 wind turbines. From then until now, already 15 years, this idea has been developed into action.

Today, the villagers use only 1% of the energy produced on site from wind, solar and biomass. The remaining 99% is sold by the investors to one of Germany’s major energy suppliers. This small settlement to date is a good example of an energy community as well as a combination of economic factors, legal options and environmental goals set by its inhabitants.

All participants in the study visit shared that it was very useful and the experience of Germany will serve in the creation of the model for the energy manager services in the Bulgarian municipalities.