Project Energiewende Twinning Towns: Kościerzyna (PL) welcomes Marburg-Biedenkopf (D) to exchange information on local energy transition
For more than 15 years, the districts of Kościerzyna (PL) and Marburg-Biedenkopf (D) have maintained a European town partnership in order to bring European issues such as the energy transition on the local agenda through the exchange of ideas and measures. The workshop in the Polish twin city was originally planned for spring 2020 as part of the Energiewende Twinning Towns project. However, it had to be postponed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic but could finally take place on 28/29. September 2020.
Core of the exchange were two educational workshops – one with a class in a primary school and one with a secondary school in the district of Kościerzyna. Both were carried out under strict adherence to the hygiene precautions. In the beginning of both workshops Erich Weber, energy manager of the Marburg-Biedenkopf district, explained to the students the climate change and connected challenges. Afterwards, each of the two classes built solar cars and solar boats, respectively and let them compete against each other on racetracks. The construction kits for the solar boats and cars as well as the racetrack were provided by the district of Marburg-Biedenkopf as a present. In this way, the students could playfully learn the importance of renewable energies for protecting the climate.
The delegation also visited the municipal energy, heat and water supplier “Kos-Eko”. Although Poland’s energy supply is still heavily dependent on coal-fired power generation, the country wants to achieve the European climate targets by 2050. Therefore, “Kos-Eko” is increasingly switching its energy generation to gas and, above all, to biomass. It is also more and more relying on combined heat and power. In the city, the company was able to replace around 300 coal stoves with heat exchangers with a connection to the local heating network (3.8 km in length).
The delegation also met with the mayor of Kościerzyna, Grzegorz Piechowski. He made clear that the financing of renewable energies is crucial for further expansion in the community. It is also important that the municipal administration sets a good example. Municipal buildings and schools have already been refurbished and the expansion of solar energy on their roofs is in the planning process. Two photovoltaic open spaces were also installed in the community. The city and the municipality of Kościerzyna jointly provided 40 percent of the funding, the European Union provided the remaining 60 percent.
Mayor Piechowski reported on a conversation with young people from the community: Polish schoolchildren are more and more interested in questions of a sustainable economy and consumption. It is precisely here that the partnership between the two European municipalities must continue to act in order to support this momentum of transformation through the exchange of experiences and the promotion of creative ideas.
A longer report on the workshop days you can find on the website of our project partner Renewable Energie Agency here: