In a great example of resiliency and smart thinking, Gussing, a small Austrian town, faced with huge power bills now is a model of energy conservation and local renewable energy. A town people once thought was dying is now booming due to green energy companies, jobs, and income.
They began by retrofitting public buildings with energy saving light bulbs and insulation, then installed gassification plants powered by decomposing wood, and expanded that to power and heat the entire town. They use sustainable forestry practices and are a net exporter of energy.
The little town has become a net energy producer—generating more energy from renewables than it uses. Altogether, there are more than 30 power plants using renewable energy technologies within 10 kilometers of the village. Now the goal is to take the lessons from the small town of Güssing and make the entire 27,000-person district an energy-self-sufficient net producer.
Currently around 400 people come to Güssing each week to visit the numerous demonstration plants.