19 students of Wageningen University, Van Hall Larenstein and Groningen University worked together on alternative ways to collect sustainable energy in the Veenkoloniën in 2012-2013. They collaborated with municipality Aa and Hunze, Agenda voor de Veenkoloniën and ECO Oostermoer.
Why a Village Energy Plan?
The Village Energy Plan is part of the Year of Sustainability 2013, initiated by the municipality Aa en Hunze. During this year the municipality wants to launch a learning network of authorities, entrepreneurs, ngo's, citizens, researchers and students in order to give substance to the sustainability assignment of Aa en Hunze. It is a local approach that might also be an answer to the sustainability assignments in other parts of the Veenkoloniën. That is why partner municipalities – united in the Agenda voor de Veenkoloniën – are involved in this project as well.
What has been done yet?
Kenniswerkplaats Veenkoloniën initiated a learning network of students and regional actors. First of all the Energy Office was founded. The aim of this office is to accompany local initiatives (like ECO Oostermoer) in their activities on alternative sustainable energy. Two students at Groningen University were responsible for this office. Other students investigated the social and technical aspects of alternative forms of sustainable energy in the municipality of Aa en Hunze:
- Students Environmental Sciences at Van Hall Larenstein created a calculation model. This model compares eight different forms of sustainable energy.
- Students Environmental Sciences at Wageningen University investigated the environmental and technical impact of the three most promising options.
- Students Geo-Information Science at Wageningen University visualized the composition of energy alternatives in the village Gasselternijveenschemond by using a multi touch table. They collaborated with the municipality Aa en Hunze, ECO Oostermoer and citizens.
- Part-time students Environmental Sciences at Van Hall Larenstein investigated the use of sustainable energy in canals between farmlands.
And what now?
The Energy Office will get a follow-up. Together with municipality Aa en Hunze, Agenda voor de Veenkoloniën and ECO Oostermoer the office will search for new questions that need to be answered. Again Kenniswerkplaats Veenkoloniën will be an important actor in connecting regional actors with educational institutes.