Heuersdorf as a Model Community

The process of German reunification remains deficient in many ways. Despite the high expenditures made for modernization of the New German States, natural resources are still used very inefficiently. For example, 80 % more electricity is consumed per unit of gross national product than in western Germany.

The inhabitants of Heuersdorf are convinced that their village should not be sacrificed to such wasteful expenditures. The community has organized many seminars on resource conservation. All studies have shown that the nearby Lippendorf power plant would be superfluous - thus preventing destruction of the village - if only rudimentary programs for saving electricity were to be implemented

Communal redevelopment programs in eastern Germany comprise successful measures to reduce air pollution, improve water quality, install modern sewage treatment facilities, perform landscaping without endangering the natural environment, identify and eliminate contamination on former industrial sites, and insure that the data pertinent to health and ecological balances are freely available to the public. Yet certain prerequisites of sustainable development remain sorely neglected, such as self-reliance in the production of foodstuffs, transportation of goods by rail wherever possible, stabilization of local manufacturing at a level equivalent to consumption, strategic deployment of renewable energy resources, and establishment of fiscal policies that favor durable goods and local services.

In this context, it is essential to improve the efficiency of resource use with technologies that likewise promote public awareness of democratically relevant issues. This objective is being pursued with the Virtual Power Station in which environmental, economic, and social balances are the primary reference parameters.

This project provides a high potential for realization elsewhere:

1. In former planned economies with similar infrastructures, such in many parts of eastern Europe and Asia.

2. In industrial countries that have committed to CO2 reductions.

3. In communities dedicated to sustainable development that are also introducing data networking.

4. In countries that have introduced ecologically oriented tax systems.

It is hoped that government officials will comprehend the value of a village committed to saving resources, instead of destroying it to generate electricity in oblivion of economic and ecological necessities.

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