Bild einer Frau, die sich Notizen macht
Bild einer Frau, die sich Notizen macht

University News

Green Energy for Scotland

EUF students tackle fuel poverty in Scotland with citizen-owned renewable energy

The work starts today: STarting on January 25, 2023, 16 EUF master's students hailing from the global south will help local partners in Dunbar, Scotland, generate green, publicly-oriented electricity for the future.

All the students are engineers, bring several years of professional experience in various sectors, and are enrolled in the interdisciplinary master's degree program in industrial engineering "Energy and Environmental Management for Developing Countries" at Europa-Universität Flensburg. Their stay lasts several weeks and forms part of the so-called "International classroom," a core component of the degree program.

Tasks of the Dubar "International Classroom“

Students have two tasks to solve during this year's visit:

  • Design and economic viability of a 20 megawatt solar PV farm near Dunbar, as well as market access and sales of the generated energy.
  • Development of a social enterprise for East Lothian focused on community-led decarbonization opportunities to address fuel poverty (affecting up to 75% of households!)

The last point is new: Developing a social enterprise adds, for the first time, a social-ecological aspect to the program's International Class residencies, which focused on techno-economic solutions to reducing CO2.

A unique socio-ecological facet

As in Germany, in the United Kingdom the share of renewable energies in electricity generation has risen to about 50%.  "Normal citizens" do not benefit from this, however; they simply have to stand by and watch how Scotland's extreme winds carry electricity and profits from wind energy into the south of the country, benefiting investors, while the local population is freezing from high energy prices. The idea of community-oriented energy will be implemented here via a community energy project. The Scottish partners have succeeded in bringing Dr. Katherine Trebeck, one of the leading figures in the idea of the "Wellbeing Economy,"  to the site while the Flensburg students undertake concrete studies on the subject for the local population.

Fair profit distribution important for energy transition

"Fair and local distribution is becoming increasingly important for the success of the energy transition," explains Prof. Dr. Bernd Möller, head of the degree program. "After all, the acceptance [nedded] to expand renewable energies increases when the entire community benefits from the profits - not just a few investors. Green investments like the public wind farm thus increase the chances of social participation."

The students will be in Scotland until February 28.