Green Energy as a Tourist Destination

We found this over at Clean Technica and wanted to share.  Having driven through the wind turbines in the Altamont Pass and through the wind farms of Iowa, I can see the draw of cool green projects – but even I considered myself an outlier on these things.  Turns out I’m not alone:

A guidebook to over 190 green project sites in Germany has sold out in its first printing. The project sites are wind farms, solar arrays, and the like.

german church with solar

The green guidebook was mocked by a guest poster on Grist, who identifies himself as a comedian: “Add that to the list of things I do not understand about Germany. I mean, the country is littered with castles, they’ve got the alps, the Black Forest, a 500-year-old beer hall every three blocks, and half the dudes over there have mustaches like this.”

If visiting a renewable energy site for fun seems like a typically ‘German’ thing to do, just consider what it is like going to see the wind turbines at Altamont Pass not far from the San Francisco Bay Area or on the way to Joshua Tree in the southern part of the Golden State. They are spectacular in their own way, and indicative of a newer energy infrastructure and society in transition.

If you would like to peruse the green guidebook, visit here. Google Chrome asked me if I wanted to translate this page and I said yes, so I could readily see it in English. The author is Martin Frey. Here is an extract from the book on Bavaria (German).

This kind of publication is great because it provides alternatives to the standard vacation spots which have a tendency to get rather packed during the summer season. Sitting in traffic and waiting in line at the most  popular sites is hardly a relaxing way to spend a summer vacation.

Publishing such information is also educational–but not just in an informative way–because it is about experiential education. Such experiences are often what families tend to gravitate towards, like visiting aquariums or museums. Spending time in the outdoors while learning about renewable energy might be more refreshing and invigorating though.

Another thing worth mentioning is that Germany is a world leader in renewable energy so it makes very good sense that wind farms, solar arrays, biogas generators, etc. would be worth visiting there because they are evidence of a national commitment to the move away from polluting fossil fuels to better sustainability.

In fact, a German village not far from Berlin that is energy independent has received several thousands visitors from all over the world. About half of them in 2011 were from Japan!

So, it isn’t only those ‘wacky’ Germans at all that are interested in visiting some of these noteworthy green sites.

Image Source: Agency for Renewable Energies / Gudrun Schützler

Via Clean Technica – go visit them and see what other fun articles they have!

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