Stanz im Mürztal is located in a rural area in the province of Styria in Austria. It has a total population of 1 844 inhabitants and a surface area of 70 km2. The region is industrial and has been affected by economic structural change in recent decades.

As in many European regions, people tend to move into metropolitan areas, which is one reason for depopulation. The economy is small-scaled, which is reflected in the high percentage of people who commute from the municipality.

Our village decided to search for new ways to deal with these challenges. Therefore, we started a ‘Local Agenda 21’ process in 2016 to enable an integrated development of the village with the knowledge and support of the inhabitants. Since then, about 80 active residents deliver ’hands on’ on the development of a local strategy and implementation of measures in different areas with great commitment.

Over the past few years, the issues of enhancing the village centre, the creation of new mobility options and measures to improve the quality of life have been addressed.

In the future, we want to focus more on the issues of self-sufficient energy production at local level and support to energy-producing communities. The goal is to increase the supply of renewable energy sources, which is currently around 30%, up to 100%. This is combined with multipliable, innovative business and cooperation models for the financing and flexible use of these energy sources. This also helps to ensure the sustainable economic development of the community.

Furthermore, we want to deal with the question of voluntary work: we are fortunate to have many people involved in community life. Thus, we want to explore the question of how this situation can be secured in the future and what non-monetary compensation there can be.

Village strategy :

Stanz village strategy


Social innovation at the interface of energy transition and digitization

Follow along with our Village Roadmap here :

To strengthen the community's resilience and autonomy one of several projects in Stanz im Mürztal focuses on the exploitation of local renewable energy resources. As a consequence Stanz has committed itself to the foundation of a renewable energy community, according to article 22 RED II 2018 of the European Union. The implementation process, starting in 2021, has followed the local policy to combine technical and social innovation in order to secure effective results and sustainable development within the community During the project and as part of the sociological field study/participation process, an information event, six facilitated working group meetings, qualitative interviews, and a two-day conference were held in the course of the project. It became apparent that there was a great interest in the topics of local energy transition as well as a local voucher system, which was seen as a local currency by the participants of the participation process. The token engineering study considered the legal, technical, economic and ethical aspects in order to create a merger of both the energy and voucher systems. The conclusion has been to focus on the implementation of a token based management of the energy supply within the renewable energy community, with the gradual expansion of energy based applications within the municipality.  


Second Regional Workshop of the Smart Rural 21 project

Recording of day 1 of the second Regional Workshop of the Smart Ru-ral 21 project, held in Stanz im Mürztal, Austria. The event presented the outcomes of the Smart Rural 21 project, as well as Smart Village approaches and solutions, with a particular focus on how Smart Villag-es can contribute to reduction of CO2 emissions, including through re-newable energy and local energy communities.

10th Smart Rural Café, Stanz, 6 September 2022

Stanz im Mürztal, one of the Smart Rural 21 project selected vil-lages, was chosen to receive additional expert support for the full implementation of its smart village strategy. Its project scope was to define the role of blockchain for leveraging the output of renew-able energy resources and to combine technical and social inno-vation. The project goal was to define possible cases for the use of a local digital currency based on renewable energy. As a first step, a renewable energy community was implemented in Stanz. Citizen engagement and an intense participation process provided the ideal basis for the token economic analysis. The Smart Café showcased the results of the Stanz feasibility study.

Resources :

Stanz im Mürtzal -launch event of the Knowledge Cluster on renewable energy communities
Fritz Pichler , Rainer Rosegger - Municipality of Stanz , Agentur SCAN ( 17/03/2023 )
Video presentation about the activities carried out in Stanz im Mürtzal with special focus on the plans of the construction of a new biomass heat and power grid in the centre of Stanz and how the energy autonomous village centre is being realised using digitalisation, blockchain technology and local (e-token) currency during the launch event of the Knowledge Cluster on renewable energy communities.

Language : English
Lighthouse factsheet of Stanz im Mürtzal
Municipality of Stanz
Document about the smart journey of Stanz im Mürtzal, lighthouse community in Renewable Energy withing the Smart Rural 27 project. One of the greatest challenges of the energy transition is the coupling of different energy production sectors and grids (electricity, heat) and the storage of unused energy. The construction of a new biomass heat and power grid in the centre of Stanz and energy autonomous village centre is being realised using digitalisation, blockchain technology and local (e-token) currency.
Language : English
Stanz Token: Examining opportunities to combine a digital local currency with a renewable energy community
Rainer Rosegger Caliber Consult GmbH , Agentur SCAN , ABC Research GmbH ( 29/06/2022 )
In order to empirically test the feasibility of the idea of connecting the REC Stanzertal with a token economy for the introduction of a local digital currency (DLC) in Stanz im Mürztal, social science research was combined with a participation and co-creation process. The results of this process were integrated into the token engineering process, which includes legal, economic, technical and ethical considerations.
Best practices of renewable energy communities
Ecolise ( 07/2021 )
Prepared in the framework of the Smart Rural 21 project, this report presents examples and processes related to the development of decentralised micro-grids and energy communities, also considering the application of blockchain-based technologies. Key features of the presented cases and the relevance to the energy community of Stanz im Mürztal (Austria) are highlighted.
Language : English
Stanz energy community – stakeholder analysis
Municipality of Stanz , Ecolise ( 06/2021 )
The analysis includes the state-of-play of stakeholder engagement in Stanz, a PESTLE analysis, SWOT analysis and stakeholder mapping
Language : English
The emergence of the Smart Stanz Renewable Energy Community
Rainer Rosegger - SCAN ( 18/10/2022 )
A presentation on Smart Rural 21 selected village Stanz’s (Austria) experience with renewable energy and development of a local energy community. The presentation was given in the workshop “How to overcome the energy crisis in a smart way locally? – Renewable energy & local energy communities” at the Smart Rural 21 project’s Final Conference of 17-18 October 2022 in Sopot, Poland.
Language : English
Social engagement in Stanz im Mürztal
Fritz Pichler - Municipality of Stanz ( 27/01/2022 )
A presentation given at the 3rd Smart Rural 21 Regional Workshop on the social engagement of Stanz im Mürztal (Austria), one of the project’s 21 selected villages.
Language : English
The case of Stanz energy community & support system
Rainer Rosegger , Alexander Baldele , Rainer Rosegger - SCAN , Caliber Consult GmbH ( 05/11/2021 )
A presentation given at the 2nd Regional Workshop of the Smart Rural 21 project on how the energy community and its support system work in Stanz, including the importance of social innovation and early community engagement.
Language : English
Stanz – transformation process of a rural community
Fritz Pichler Municipality of Stanz ( 05/11/2021 )
A presentation given at the 2nd Regional Workshop of the Smart Rural 21 project on the activities and transformation process of Stanz im Mürtzal – one of the project’s 21 selected villages.
Language : English
Presentation about the Smart Village Strategy of Stanz
Fritz Pichler - Municipality of Stanz ( 23/02/2021 )
A presentation provided at the 2nd Smart Village Academy of the Smart Rural 21 project during the “Local energy communities and stakeholder engagement” working group. One of Stanz’s – selected Smart Rural 21 village – aims is to create an Energy Community by the end of 2021. In doing so, Stanz wants to create a future oriented model by integrating new technologies (e.g. blockchain), disruptive business models, and social innovation.
Language : English
Summary Highlights of the Smart Village Strategy of Stanz (Austria)
Municipality of Stanz ( 12/2020 )
The Summary Highlights of the Smart Village Strategy of Stanz im Mürtzal has been developed in the context of the ‘Preparatory Action for Smart Rural Areas in the 21st Century’ project funded by the European Commission.
Language : English

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