The energy turnaround in the city council

The energy turnaround in the city council

Change of policy in kulmbach: the city is getting involved in the production of green electricity from the fields. A project that was stalled in february 2019 by the majority of the CSU and WGK has now been put on track.

The city council yesterday initiated the change of the land use plan for grafendobrach, so that a free-standing photovoltaic plant on twelve hectares can be built. The city wants to form an operating company together with the company munch energie, rugendorf. The energy turnaround has arrived at the city council.

Flashback: in february 2019, the open-space photovoltaic plant planned near grafendobrach on 13.7 hectares of farmland was shot down by the CSU/WGK/FDP majority. Only seven city councils (5 SPD, grune, 1 WGK) voted for the munch energie project at the time. Opponents cited a ten-year-old policy decision to allow photovoltaics only on rooftops.

Brought out of the drawer

Later, the city council rescinded the basic resolution, so that the munch project could now be taken out of the drawer again. Details of this were given by the head of the municipal utility stephan proschold. A success story has already been written with stromnetz kulmbach gmbh. Now they also want to break new ground in the local production of regenerative energies. Here there is the greatest potential for photovoltaics.

According to proschold, the municipal utilities want to pursue a two-pronged approach: on the one hand, they want to approach industry and commerce, but also private homeowners, and make offers for PV systems on roofs – and on the other hand, they want to use photovoltaics in open spaces.

Burgers to be involved

A pilot plant is to be built in grafendobrach. If the pandemic allows it, the citizens will be informed about participation possibilities. According to proschold, the municipal utilities are to hold the majority of shares in the operating company. It is planned to cover twelve hectares with PV modules and to green the plant with native woods.

"We are on the right track with this, said mayor ingo lehmann (SPD). An opinion not shared by all city council members. WGK faction chairman ralf hartnack repeated the concerns from the previous year. The three designated sites are "a huge flat" – land needed for food production. He pleaded for photovoltaics on roofs. "It cannot be the future to generate electricity with photovoltaics", alexander meile (WGK) said. He was against paving over an area of "20 football fields".

Georg hock (afd) caused laughter. He was of the opinion: "the climate does not need and does not want to be protected."

CSU rethinks

Jorg kunstmann made it clear that the CSU had rethought its position. "Renewable energies are a duty for us. That will come, there is no alternative", he said. He spoke in favor of "mabvoll einsteigen", and emphasized: "we are not paving over the city of kulmbach, but we are starting with projects that are accepted by the population." His faction chairman michael pfitzner explained that this would not be automatic, but that decisions would be made separately for each individual case. It is important that the local population has something to gain from it.

As in the previous year, mdl rainer ludwig (WGK) also signaled approval. The energy policy spokesman for the state parliamentary group spoke out in favor of the targeted expansion of open-space PV systems. The prerequisite for this is the acceptance of the citizens and a citizen-friendly realization.

For the greens, dagmar keis-lechner described the energy project as doubly sensible: it would provide the best value for money and offer favorable electricity prices to the local economy and the population.

There was a two-thirds majority in favor of the proposal. 21 votes in favor came from OB lehmann and the SPD, from the grunen, from mdl ludwig (WGK) and from the CSU.