On Thursday 1 July, the DECIDE Austrian partners were happy to enjoy their first after lockdown face-to-face event.
The “Orchard Energy Talk No1” (“Energiegespräche im Obstgarten”) was a high profile discussion on energy transition, and also the kick-off of OurPower’s second regional office in the city of Seiersberg near Graz, managed by Sekem Energy GmbH. The meeting took place at the ecological fruit farm Biohof Birnstingl of Sekem’s CEO Birgit Birnstingl.
Andreas Türk, from DECIDE partner Joanneum Research, introduced the audience to the concept of energy communities. Ulfert Höhne, from OurPower, highlighted the energy cooperatives approach to peer-to-peer energy sharing. Finally, Norbert Miesenberger from OurPower Upper Austria gave insights of their successes with more the 100 power producers selling their electricity to 400 customers.
With a brilliant view over Graz more than 30 guests discussed with Joanneum Reasrch and OurPower experts the motivation and practical steps to citizen energy activities. Great weather despite forecast of heavy rain eased high spirits and a very successful evening. Existing ideas were reinforced, vague interests turned convictions, new regional activities were agreed on, and five attendees became OurPower members right on the spot.
The evening was concluded by a plug-in party of a new PV roof on the site, live music, and great local wine and food.