The objective of the I-CITE Study Tour, which took place from August 21-26, 2011, in Bavaria, (Germany) and Upper Austria, was the promotion of renewable energy from biomass. On their 5-day trip, 20 American and European scholars and representatives of agriculture and forestry seized the opportunity to discuss the potential for innovative policies, long-term goals, and political leadership in the renewable energy sector.
The integration of the most diverse participants, ranging from entrepreneurs to farmers and foresters, contributed to a more holistic approach to the development of renewable energy schemes. Mr. Rudi Anschober, the Minister for the Environment in Upper Austria, was one of the speakers on the Austrian success story of renewable energy.
The U.S.-participants were impressed by the ÖkoFEN Solar Park in Straßkirchen (in Upper Austria). ÖkoFEN is Austria’s leading pellet boiler manufacturer. Discussions with the President of the Upper Austrian Chamber of Agriculture, Mr. Hannes Herndl, also helped to underline the collaboration between the agricultural and the renewable energies sectors. This I-CITE tour was initiated by the Ecologic Institute and the Atlantic Council of the United States, financed by the European Commission, and organized by the Agriculture and Environmental Department of the Austrian Embassy.