The town of Kuchl, near Salzburg in Austria, strives for sustainability – not only with wood, but also with electricity. Around 500 visitors from Germany and Austria gathered to see the successful inauguration of T4L (Technologies for Life) GmbH’s new wind turbine at the company’s headquarters in Kuchl this week.
A test system consisting of two miniature wind turbines was installed. Local government official Sepp Eisl sees these turbines as a chance for renewable wind energy: “My goal is to be able to install small wind farms wherever possible without inconveniencing the landowners. It’s time to test the limits!”
Maybe In My Back Yard
The goal of this new test system in Kuchl includes defining legal and other limits, in order to be able to write the appropriate laws governing wind power in Austria; Eisl wishes to be able to build wind farms without permits. Rupert Schnitzhofer, managing partner of T4L GmbH agrees:
“These two wind turbines should prove that miniature turbines pose no significant threat to local birds, nor are they particularly loud. Independence from a centrally-controlled energy system is important for T4L and for the people. Miniature wind turbines provide a bit of energy independence without tainting the surrounding ambience. Be energy-autonomous! That’s the ticket! We want our pilot project to simplify the legal hurdles standing in the way of an energy-autonomous future for Salzburg, and the rest of the country. People and the environment are at the center of our company philosophy.”
T4L’s Salzburg test system is now an example for all of Austria, Schnitzhofer feels, and that the experiences gained here are relevant for the whole country.
Let’s All Vote On It
The mayor of Kuchl, Andreas Wimmer, feels that whether or not miniature wind turbines are installed anywhere at all is a decision to be reached by each community, and that the type of system installed is also important. It seems to me that Wimmer is trying to avoid the responsibility of making the decision, but T4L is prepared to run with the lukewarm endorsement. In the spirit of community cooperation, the company will publish the data from the test system in hopes of gaining community support.
Whether or not T4L’s project is successful remains to be seen – but how would you feel about mini wind turbines in your back yard? I think they’re almost cute, but feel free to agree or disagree in the comments below.