INFORSE-Europe logo

Sustainable Energy Successees

Facebook INFORSE Facebook INFORSE-Europe CAUSE: 100% RE  INFORSE Twitter

Training Centers


ARTEFACT Successful Solar School & Center in Germany

2000 Particpants on 120 Small Courses in 10 years

"So what about the payback period of your Mercedes?" answers Martin Petersen to the question of his counterpart Frank Kebel, concerning the economical efficiency of a solar roof.
The emotional discussion is just a part of a role play within the workshop program „consultancy and financing“. Together with 14 other electricians, chimney sweepers, and physics teachers, they take part in the fifth „solar school“ of ARTEFACT in Glücksburg, in the northern corner of Germany. The 4-day crash course is offered twice a year with the non-profit „Union of Energy Consumers“.
During last 10 years, about 2000 participants have been trained in about 120 courses. The participants came from all over Germany, paving the way for the introduction of renewable energy in the usually rather conservative circles of craftsmen. Courses are offered, with increasing success, in photovoltaics - the electrical use of solar radiation - and in solar thermal applications - the support of heating systems.
Our first course in Glücksburg on solar thermal energy attracted just 5 participants, whereas, in the most recent one, there were 16. From several „oldies“ we heard that they successfully integrated their new skills into their business activities. The required combination of theoretical lessons on basic knowledge, technical calculation, practise on the solar training roof, and excursions to demonstration sites can be offered excellently by the ARTEFACT centre. The international guest house is self-sufficient with renewable-energy sources - one of the reasons ARTEFACT received Eurosolar´s European Solar award in 1998.

Energy ‘Infotainment’ Center Expects 100,000 Visitors

During the coming year, 100,000 visitors are expected on the site. The PowerPark, Germany´s first energy „infotainment“ centre, attracts school classes as well as tourists and groups for special programs. You can experience energy, from the fossil coal to the modern wind energy, with all your senses and still may get some motivation to take responsibility for your own energy consumption.

Plans To Meet Worldwide Interest
Increasing numbers of requests are arriving from other countries for our solar school program. So far, we counted participants from Italy, Spain, Sri Lanka, and Nicaragua. Since the present courses are conducted in German, I´m sure that there is an even much higher demand for corresponding courses in English, French, or Spanish. Therefore, the search for cofunding of program costs has begun! ARTEFACT itself doesn´t receive any institutional funding and has to cover all costs with participants’ fees. But, looking at the proclaimed targets of Johannesburg and the European community, there should be ways to extend an obviously successful concept to other target groups on an international level.

The ARTEFACT center is self-sufficient in terms of electricity.
More over it sells electricity to the grid at a price of 45 cents/kWh.
The electricity is generated by a 30-kW Kano wind generator, and by an 11-kW peak PV installation integrated into the roof.
The heating of the guest house’s apartment and the conference rooms as well as water for showers are mostly covered by solar collectors. In the winter, a cogeneration plant provides extra heat.

The Powerpark’s installations, among others, include:
• 300-W Solar Home System
• PV Solar fountain with tracking
• Schwarzler solar cooker
• Micro wind-power plant
• Savonius rotor
• Archimedean wind screw
• Indian Swastik biogas plants
• Different type of solar collectors
• PV modules for roofs
The center provides:
• Fully equipped meeting rooms for up to 50 persons, and
• 8 guest rooms with up to 32 beds.


Eco-Centers, theme including Artefact
Issue No. 24, p. 13-14, February 1999
(pdf file 230kB)

Name and type of project
ARTEFACT Successful Solar School & Center
Starting year 2001
New local jobs 2
Number of similar projects None in Germany. (Folkecenter in Denmark, CAT in UK.)
Contact persons for 
further information
ARTEFACT, Global Learning and Local Action, Bremsbergallee 35, 24960 Glücksburg, Germany.
Ph: +49 4631 6116-0, Fax: + 49 4631 6116-28,