Freiburg Has Solar Flair

Imagine a city founded, ... well, closing in on 1,000 years ago, that now has a modern population of more than 200,000. Thirty years ago they were propositioned with a nuclear power plant, but being eminently sensibly people said " No, Thanks". Actually, they said. "Nein, Danke" as the city is Freiburg, Germany. Turning their back on isotopes, they looked to the sun and set about becoming an "ecological capital" instead. And it would appear they are exceedingly well on track. Over 400 solar installations, including the soccer stadium, hospitals, schools, fair grounds, homes and the central station. Let's not forget the local brewery either. How about a solar module production plant that employs 130 people? And this is the best bit — is itself a zero emission factory, "being powered by 570 square metres of PV, and a rape seed oil-fired combined heat and power plant." 500 km of bicycle paths and 5,000 bicycle parking spaces. In a newer suburb residents were offered cheaper house prices, if they'd opt to live without a car. Over 30% said "Ja, Bitte." Municipal waste was reduced to almost one third of what it was 12 years earlier. And over 40% of the surrounding countryside is protected. Whoa, I have to stop there, too much good news all at once, it's making me dizzy. Find out more for yourself at ::Freiburg Solar Region via Greenleap

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