The future of energy - turning young people into aware citizens

Year

2015

Organisation

50Hertz

Description

In cooperation with its nature conservation partners, 50Hertz is implementing a range of both fun and informative communication activities that specifically target young adolescents and the communities in which they live.


Objectives:

  • Convey the challenges of the energy transition and of grid development to young people
  • Establish a strong network within the affected region and be perceived as a trustworthy partner that initiates constructive dialogue
  • Maximise the impact of the compensation and mitigation measures by jointly developing and carrying out ideas with the local communities

 

Main information:

The project is inspired by a lack of awareness often seen amongst young people regarding the challenges that come with Germany’s energy transition and related grid development projects, which in turn compound a broader lack of acceptance amongst the community. The set of communication activities seeks to address this lack by initiating a number of joint solution-finding activities, which look to increase knowledge of the environment and issues surrounding grid development.

50Hertz jointly developed a nature trail with students of a local school that was situated close to the proposed route of a power line. The realisation of the trail included the installation of nesting aids for bats and birds, the creation of new habitats for lizards and the construction of a beehive.

This project is complemented by the rehabilitation of an orchard, where 200 trees have been incorporated into an upgraded learning environment that schools can visit to learn about orchard environments and fruit pressing.

In cooperation with UfU, the Independent Institute for Environmental Issues, 50Hertz created the so-called “Mitmachausstellung” (participatory exhibition), which aims to raise awareness for the energy transition by integrating theoretical knowledge and practical hands-on experience in a playful way.

To this day, more than 3000 school children and more than 800 adults participated in this new format.

The approach involved local stakeholders such as municipalities, authorities, schools, teachers, pupils and parents, NGOs, and others. All activities are designed to be repeatable and have a long-term impact.


Additional information:

50Hertz is responsible for the operation, maintenance, planning, and expansion of the 380/220 kilovolt transmission grid throughout the northern and eastern part of Germany. Already today more than 42% of consumption in the 50Hertz grid area is covered by renewable energy sources, making it the world-wide leader in this respect.