Small German Village Creates its Own Renewable Power Source

January 18, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. surpass /sərˈpæs, -ˈpɑs/ (v.) – to be ahead of someone or something
Example: He surpassed his classmates in finishing his exam.

2. park /pɑrk/ (n.) – a place reserved for a specific purpose
Example: This city has an industrial park where the companies are located.

3. model /ˈmɒd l/ (adj.) – being a very good or near perfect example of something
Example: Japan is a model country when it comes to maintaining tradition even in modern times.

4. replicate /ˈrɛp lɪˌkeɪt/ (v.) – to copy something in an exact manner
Example: They replicated a hundred copies of the book using recycled paper.

5. infrastructure /ˈɪn frəˌstrʌk tʃər/ (n.) – man-made facilities that provide specific needs in a community
Example: The government plans to build new infrastructure to develop the town’s economy. 


Read the text below.
A small village in Germany surpasses the rest of the country in its long-term plan to completely shift to renewable energy.

Located near Berlin, the town of Feldheim [FELD-hahym] is the first urban area in the country to supply and provide its own source of renewable energy. It has two sources of electricity, a wind park and a solar park. It also has a biogas plant and a woodchip plant, both serve as the village’s heat source. Recently, the village purchased a battery storage that can store 48 hours-worth of emergency supply. With one percent of its electricity production enough to power the whole village, Feldheim sells the rest of its electricity for national consumption.

Feldheim’s renewable-energy facilities were made possible by the approval and contributions of its 145 residents. With the help of the government, the villagers were able to finance the project by donating 3,000 euros each. But despite the donations, expenses were still costly. The biogas plant, for instance, was priced at two million euros and the battery storage costs 13 million euros.

Nonetheless, the villagers thought the expensive project is worth investing on. Not only are they saving the environment, but they are also saving money. Compared with the rest of the country, Feldheim residents pay less for their electricity and heating expenses.

Feldheim is the model village that Germany strives to replicate country-wide through its ongoing infrastructure project, Energiewende [e-ner-GEE-wen-de] or Energy Transition. The project’s goals are to fully depend on renewable energy resources and to slow down climate change. Germany aims to accomplish this through smaller projects that will eventually lead to shutting down all nuclear power plants.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think your own town or city can do what Feldheim did? Why or why not?
·         If you were a resident of Feldheim, would you invest on the renewable energy facilities? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Do you think your country can completely shift to renewable energy? Why or why not?
·         How important is it to think of ways to get renewable energy? Please explain your answer.

January 18, 2015