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"Renewable Energy as an Opportunity for Community-based Economic Development"

Date: 12/10/2012

Time: 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Location: Humphrey Forum Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Cost: Free


Germany is betting on renewable energy as an engine for regional economic development. Community-driven development that integrates power generation, district heating, and agricultural production has reshaped life in the small village of Feldheim. Feldheim is 100% energy independent. Its wind park generates new revenue for local farmers; its biodigester turns pig farming into a no-smell agricultural business. The village's transformation was facilitated by one renewable energy company's vision. At Germany's federal Environment Agency, policy experts and researchers are modeling 100% renewable energy solutions that will transform life in even Germany's largest cities.

What opportunities exist in Minnesota for picking up on some of Germany's strategies?

A delegation of Minnesota and Iowa leaders from the policy, business, and academic sectors traveled to Germany this past summer to discover relevant lessons. This forum continues that dialogue.

On the podium:

Werner Frohwitter (director of communications, EnergieQuelle GmbH; developer of Feldheim village); Dr. Harry Lehmann (head, Division of Environmental Planning and Sustainable Strategies, Germany's Federal Environment Agency); Berlin delegation members MN State Sen. John Marty, MN Public Utilities Commissioner Phyllis Reha, and Ken Smith (CEO, District Energy of St. Paul). Moderator: Steve Kelley. 

The MN-Germany exchange on renewable energy policy and economic development is supported through a special grant from the German government.


  • Name: DAAD Center for German & European Studies
  • E-mail: CGES@umn.edu
  • Phone: 612-626-7705
  • Sponsored by: German and European Studies Center, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Institute on the Environment

Disability Options:

To request disability accommodations, please contact Jessica Oakes, DAAD Center for German & European Studies, CGES@umn.edu, 612-626-7705.

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