Page 74 - Respond 2014 | RTCC Publications
P. 74


driving latin

america’s Sharing the benefts of renewable energy projects triggers sustainable

soaring development in indigenous communities.

wind sector

Carried by the wind – SOWITEC’s Founded in 1993, SOWITEC has developed and today operates
sustainable development through more than 30 wind farms in Germany. From its headquarter ofce
stakeholder engagement in Sonnenbuehl, Germany, SOWITEC has expanded to several
developing and emerging markets in Latin America.
Besides their huge contribution to the mitigation of
greenhouse gases, large-scale renewable energy projects Local communities
have an enormous potential to spur local development in Listen to the needs and visions of the local communities. This is the key to
rural communities. The key to release this development successfully realize a project idea and to maximize the impact of such a project on the
potential lies in an interactive and creative stakeholder sustainable development in its surroundings.
engagement. The activities of SOWITEC are a showcase
for how to reach this dual aim of green energy supply and “Every community is unique, and has unique challenges to spur its development. You
sustainable development in Latin America. cannot come with standardized solutions. You have to sit down with the stakeholders
and fnd out what really moves them,” explains Frank Hummel, founder of SOWITEC.
When visitors arrive at Ismael Cortinas, a small village of
1000 inhabitants in the rural south-west of Uruguay, they In Uruguay, education drives social ambition. To assist in this development goal, the
are welcomed by the communities´ new coat of arms: It municipality and SOWITEC closed an agreement to facilitate educational visits of local
shows a sunset over the wide grasslands dominating the primary school classes at the project site of Pastorale.
countryside around Ismael Cortinas – and the painting of In the shadow of the wind turbines, the pupils will learn about climate change and see
a wind farm. how renewable energy can be a central pillar for future generations.

This coat of arms came off as winner in a competition In Chile, the local project development team found different circumstances, and aimed
asking local pupils to put down on paper their vision of to actively engage the indigenous. “We already signed agreements with two Mapuche
Ismael Cortinas. It is a child´s vision of a green, sustainable communities. We want them to actively participate in the projects and its benefts – to
future, and the fruit of an active stakeholder inclusion in the let them witness that sustainable energy supply not only protects the environment,
development of renewable energy projects: The wind farm but is also an interesting source of income that indigenous communities can reinvest
in the coat of arms is SOWITEC´s project Pastorale, whose according to their needs,” said Frank Hummel.
construction is yet to be started, but that is already part of
the local identity in Ismael Cortinas. Commitment and action
One important source of income of wind energy projects in Latin America could
soon dry out. The revenues from the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under
the Kyoto Protocol are an essential boost to renewable energy in the face of ferce
competition from subsidized, climate-wrecking fossil fuels.

The current crisis and the unclear future of the carbon markets is, however, grist to
the mill of fossil fuels. Immediate, real commitment and action in the climate change
negotiations are indispensable.
The horrendous subsidies of fossil fuels and nuclear power need to be eliminated – in
order to grant valuable and competitive renewable energy projects the leading role
in the world´s energy supply they deserve, and allow them to unfold their manifold
development incentives for a sustainable and clean future of our planet.
Development through primary education: Building awareness
for the environment from the beginning.

   69   70   71   72   73   74   75   76   77   78   79