my god, I will only drink cold water now“ shouts Nijole, the
fifteen-year-old student from Lithuania. Together with her class mates
from Vilnius and their German partner class she is visiting the PowerPark
in Glücksburg, Germany´s first energy infotainment park.
With all her girl power Nijole tries to produce electrical energy necessary
for boiling hot water – and she is surprised by the hard work
required for such a simple device. To understand energy in all its
the limited resources of fossil energy up to the ever lasting ways
of using solar energy – these are the action oriented topics
of the artefact PowerPark near the German-Danish border. Besides thousands
tourists who are on vacation at the near Baltic Sea coast increasingly
students from the whole region visit the unusual centre. It´s
possible to book a PowerPark-Rallye or even a complete project day
on topics such
as intercultural learning, energy efficiency or renewables. Whether
Vitalish from Uganda brings fair trade and globalisation down to children´s
reality by trying new recipes with cocoa and plantains, or whether
Jens Paulsen, energy teacher of the non profit company, shows students
to create their own solar driven toys – sustainability is getting
a vivid face at artefact.
Vocational teachers and other technical staff from 60 countries per year join
training courses for improving living conditions with renewable, decentralised
and peaceful energy sources. The whole centre with facilities for 32 persons
in the guest house, conference rooms for 100 and the infotainment park for thousands
of visitors received the European Solar Price 1998 and is, of course, self sufficient
in energy consumption, while its architecture was inspired by pre-egyptian experiences,
realised with the help of Indian earth construction specialists.
But not the fascination of exotic examples for the artefact concept.
Modern innovation for sustainable production and lifestyle is the
goal, that attracted about 100,000
visitors within the last years – an unusual success story for an initiative
which has to consequently charge for all services rendered, since the centre
has to cover all costs without regular external funding. But the enthusiastic
feedback of the many visitors helps to keep up the non-fossil energy of the
international team of ten employees and volunteers. At least Nijole is motivated
now to check
the hidden energy consumption of her stand-by-equipment at home in Vilnius – and
satisfied that even the "always cool“ boys of her class were not
able to overcome the solar fountain with their own pedal power.
Read more: Several articles in Sustainable Energy