Monday, December 19, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Possessing admirable vision for the town and strong motivation to see the project as a whole succeed, Mayor Arno Zengerie has led the way for many years in making Wildpoldsried’s energy independence efforts a success. As far back as 1997, the village has been investing in building and promoting new industries, maintaining a strong local economy, generating new forms of revenue, and ultimately staying out of debt. And the best way it saw fit to accomplish much of this was through the implementation of self-sustaining, renewable energy technologies.
Not only did Wildpoldsried successfully reduce the amount of time expected to generate the necessary funds to build local treasures like a sports hall, theater stage, pub, and retirement home with the revenue generated by its thriving renewable energy sector — the village has already successfully built nine community buildings, with more on the way — but it also achieved all this and more without going into debt.
“We often spend a lot of time talking to our visitors about how to motivate the village council (and Mayor) to start thinking differently,” said Mayor Zengerle, who now gives talks around the world about the successes of his award-winning village. “We show them a best practices model in motion and many see the benefits immediately. From the tour we give, our guests understand how well things can operate when you have the enthusiasm and conviction of the people.
Be sure to read the full, inspiring account of Wildpoldsried’s history of, and successes in, renewable energy at: