In 2011, Stuttgart City Council set up the municipal utility Die Stadtwerke Stuttgart (SWS) as a subsidiary of Stuttgarter Versorgungs- und Verkehrsgesellschaft, in charge of public transport. The remunicipalisation process ended with the take-over of the distribution networks (gas and electricity) in 2014, just 12 years after the privatisation of the former Stadtwerke TWS in 2002.
The energy remunicipalisation initiative was immediately backed up with an ambitious energy transition and citizen engagement agenda and a highly symbolic partnership: the setting up of a green electricity and gas supplier jointly with Elektrizitätswerke Schönau(EWS).
EWS is a community cooperative of about 5,000 members and one of the pioneers of energy remunicipalisation in Germany. In 1991, the cooperative bought the local distribution networks and became one of the first green electricity community suppliers serving over 160,000 customers.
According to the terms of the municipal energy transition strategy, SWS should become “the prime energy transition stakeholder in Stuttgart”.
The climate plan sets an objective of a “zero-emission” city by 2050, through reducing primary energy use by 65% and covering the remaining 35% with renewable energy. SWS applies the same logic to all its activities: renewable offer for consumers (100% renewable for electricity, 10% currently for gas)16 ; energy efficiency advice service and bonuses for the purchase of highly efficient equipment; an exclusive focus on the development and operation of renewable power plants with the objective of producing enough green electricity to cover the whole city’s demand; and development of smart networks and network management favourable to RES expansion.
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Grafik: Stadt Stuttgart