Supply in times of crisis: energy or food? -Ebersberg

The fact that the world has changed in recent weeks is not only evident in the daily news from Ukraine. Also in the Ebersberg district, local politicians are suddenly asking themselves questions that until recently would hardly have played a role: Should a photovoltaic system be installed on a field to generate renewable energy, or is the grain that grows on it too valuable and , given the uncertain situation, should it be kept on the food market? The Kirchseeon municipal councils now faced this debate and did not come to a clear conclusion.

The area in question is north of the connecting road between Eglharting and Pöring. In addition to the Neukirchen church there, the city administration has identified an area of ​​around two hectares that would be suitable for the construction of a solar system. In reality, the available area would be even greater, but since the annexed church is a listed building, the lower third must be left free, according to a statement from the city council. The community has leased the rest of the property to explorers as a tribal site for years, or a farmer from Eglharting uses it as a farming area.

“I am happy for every farmer who produces food in these times.”

The latter now caused the need for discussion in the municipal council, after all, part of the field would have to give way when the solar system was installed. But is this really the right step in view of the global crises and resulting supply bottlenecks? At least some councilors expressed their doubts about it. He is “a big fan of photovoltaic systems”, said Andreas Scherer (CSU), but their construction should not be done at the expense of agricultural land. “I’m happy for every farmer who is producing food these days,” Scherer said. Dominik Bernert (UWG) similarly argued: “We should look at other areas in the municipality before paving a nice, fertile field with PV here.”

However, Markus Henle, Director General of the Ebersberg-Munich Energy Agency, had previously shown the committee how important it is to rapidly expand renewable energy sources locally. Based on this, Kirchseeon’s market is well below its targets. “There is still a lot to do,” Henle said, backing up his warning with hard numbers. Until now, only nine percent of the heat supply in the municipality has been generated in a climate-neutral way, and for electricity it is only seven percent. This places Kirchseeon below the national average. According to Henle, in order to achieve the district’s goal of becoming independent of fossil fuels by 2030 in the commercial city, whether it is 20 hectares of open-space photovoltaic systems, 3,000 rooftop solar systems, three large wind turbines or seven biogas. Systems with corresponding cultivation area would be needed. A mix of all of these is best.

The price of electricity should not be made in the public market, but in the district

The photovoltaic system in Neukirchen could now be a first building block. With a size of two hectares, this corresponds to ten percent of the entire expansion requirement in the municipality, Henle calculated. For the mayor of Kirchseeon, Jan Paeplow (CSU), the solar system would have another advantage in addition to environmental protection: “It’s not just about producing renewable energy in the district, but also about the price of electricity.” With your own systems you can become independent from the fluctuating market. “We have to carry out projects that directly benefit the citizens of the district,” said the head of the city council.

However, the people of Kirchseeon would also directly benefit from the harvest from the field near Neukirchen. Therefore, the SPD and Green List factions came out in favor of studying a dual use for the area. According to the head of the Energy Agency, Henle, corresponding considerations already exist for so-called agrophotovoltaics. However, it remains to be seen whether the symbiosis of electricity generation and agriculture is also an option for property in Kirchseeon. Initially, the majority of the municipal councils voted in principle to go ahead with planning a photovoltaic system in Neukirchen.

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