Freiburg’s (Germany) self-sustaining village, Solarsiedlung (Solar Settlement), is going strong after almost 15 years and is still producing four times the amount of energy its residents consume. The community achieves this through its smart solar design, which is embedded within the architecture. This means that the photovoltaic panels are always facing the right direction, and can increase in size when the sun dims.
59 homes have been occupied since the community’s construction, which ran from 2002 – 2005. The settlement generates 420,000 kWh of solar energy from a total photovoltaic output of 445 kW peak per year, resulting in around 200,000 litres of oil and 500 tons of CO2 saved annually.