Dialogue between population and project team

langeNachtderForschung (2)

Visitors used a program to calculate their personal energy consumption. © Markus Berchtold-Domig

How does the production of renewable energy affect a specific area? And how much space is needed to cover personal energy consumption with renewables? Around 300 visitors discovered the answers to these questions during the “Long Night of Research” in Vorarlberg, at the recharge.green information stand.Visitors were able to calculate their personal energy consumption in terms of home use and transport using an online program. The program also indicates the surface area needed to cover the calculated energy demand through the production of energy from biomass, wind energy and photovoltaic sources.

The “sample hectare” method illustrates how the production of renewable energy may affect a given sample area. Visitors ran through various usage scenarios on questionnaires and discussed them with the project team. The scenarios ranged from the installation of photovoltaic systems outdoors to the establishment of a wind power plant in a forest area and more intensive forest management (“energy forest”). The various productions of renewable energy were considered on the basis of selected ecosystem services and local factors.

The crucial insight gleaned from the discussions with local people was that the sample hectare method works. Completion of the questionnaires by citizens, however, requires a prior introductory explanation by experts. The project information stand was organised by the Vorarlberg Regional Development Agency.

For further information contact Markus Berchtold-Domig.