The area of Bergentheim-Kloosterhaar has been designated by the city council to host a pilot project for wind energy in the context of the energy transition. This area should generate at least 0.9 PJ of renewable energy (the equivalent of 20 turbines with 60MW capacity). The creation of local ownership and support among residents and the large number of land owners is a fundamental starting point for this development. The municipality does not own any land holdings in the designated area. Over Morgen was asked to create a development strategy.
Although the council has designated the area of Bergentheim-Kloosterhaar for the generation of wind energy, in our development strategy we have evaluated the area for all possible energy options (combination of solar, wind and heat). Given the magnitude of the task, it is realistic to assume that the energy supply will be derived mostly from wind energy.
For many large-scale renewable energy projects, municipalities still tend to employ a strategy whereby the project is initiated by the market itself and the municipality plays the role of the facilitator. In order to create real local ownership and support for these developments, we have proposed a different strategy: the concession model. With this approach, the preconditions as defined by the contracting authority prompt the market to meet the generated demand.
The preconditions for the Bergentheim-Kloosterhaar case have been established by representatives of the community and of land owners. The challenge here is to reconcile the interests of land owners and residents, which can be very different. In order to achieve this, we are setting up a local advisory group, where all relevant stakeholders are represented, that will assess and weigh all possible scenarios for the area. Setting up and presiding over this advisory group is a vital condition for devising a sound development strategy and is the backbone of the participation process.
The results of the participation process have been presented to the council as a strategic assessment memorandum to be used in their decision-making process.