Leck Air Base. Conversion of Military Property as a Chance for Renewable Energies

Academic Paper, 2014

35 Pages, Grade: 1,0


Table of Contents

Index of Tables

Index of Figures

Index of Maps




1.1.The Project
1.2.Definition of Conversion

2.Region and Object
2.1.The Object: Leck Air Base
2.2.The Region and City of Leck

3. Analysis
3.1.Economical Aspects
3.2.Energy Aspects
3.2.1.Energy Potential
3.2.2.Current Status
3.3.Summarized Results

4. Case Studies
4.1.Case: Eggebek
4.2.Case: Saerbeck
4.3.Case: Morbach




Index of Tables

Table 1: Leck Air Base - Area

Table 2: Regions - Basic Numbers

Table 3: Economic of Regions

Table 4: Renewable Energy Production and Number of Facilities

Table 5: Overview Case Studies

Index of Figures

Figure 1: Energy Production in Germany and Denmark

Figure 2: Energy Production Schleswig-Holstein

Figure 3: SWOT-Analysis

Index of Maps

Map 1: Leck Air Base

Map 2: Region Southern Denmark - Germany

Map 3: Solar and Wind Energy Potential


illustration not visible in this excerpt


This paper copes with the topic of military conversion at hand of the lead example Leck Air Base.

This former military airport of the German Forces is located in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. The aim of this paper is to outline the chances for the integration of renewable energy based concepts. Hereby, the special, manifolded problematic of conversion processes but also solutions are discussed.

The first introductory chapter illustrates the basic idea of this paper together with an outline of the Leck Air Base conversion project and a definition of relevant terms. The second chapter gives explanations about the region, involved municipalities and the special linkage to the Southern Denmark Region. This is containing information about geographic and socio-economic relations. A deeper economic analysis and an analysis of the overall energy potential is following in the third chapter. Furthermore, case studies of similar projects in the region of Germany are analyzed in the subsequent fourth chapter. Both, the third and the fourth chapter, built up relevant information for the fifth chapter. Here, the results of both chapters are combined, problems are discussed and possible solutions introduced. The final sixth chapter summarizes the results of this paper.

The results leads to specific suggestions for the conversion of Leck Air Base and to more general suggestions for the overall conversion process. This paper shows that the usage of mixed concept out of renewable energy park, industrial park, tourism and natural reserve is indicated for the example of Leck Air Base, but also explains that due to structural, economic characteristics a focus on renewable energy concepts alone is not of advantage. General problems as the resistance of affected residents, especially through the suggested lead technology of wind energy, can partly be avoided by alternative financial concepts as the Bürgerpark. Still, it is shown that conversion projects are facing highly individual problems and an assessment on a general basis is not sufficient.


This paper is written as part of the elective course Topics of Environmental and Resource Management in the second semester of the Master Program Environmental and Resource Management (ERM). The course allows candidates to conduct research in a chosen field under guidance of a professor or lecturer of the Master Program.

In this paper the focus will be on military conversion processes, the resulting chances and challenges for renewable energy systems. Hereby, the practical project of Leck Air Base in Germany will be taken as a lead example. The project itself and certain hold-backs will be introduced later in this introductory chapter, together with relevant definitions. More detailed information about the base and region will be given in the subsequent second chapter. This will include a gradual description of the conversion area itself, the surrounding municipalities, the federal state of Germany the base is located in, and the special connection to the region of Southern Denmark. The third chapter will analyze necessary parameters for the usage of renewable energies, the energy potential for the different sources, and economic factors relevant for the planing process. As this paper aims to point out the chances for renewable energy systems within the conversion of military property, in order to lead to new practical and valuable usage, this chapter is of major importance. The economic analysis will give more detailed information about the regions structure and reveals economic potentials, which might give further impulses for the planing process. The fourth chapter will introduce and discuss case studies from comparable conversion projects. This will give a benchmark for solutions and the opportunity to learn from previous obstacles. In the fifth chapter the results of the analysis of the case studies will be transferred onto our lead example, Leck Air Base. Eventually, the overall results will be summarized in the sixth chapter.

1.1.The Project

Leck Air Base is located in the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, between the municipalities of Leck, Tinningstedt and Klixbüll. A closer description of the location can be found in the subsequent second chapter. Communication with several responsible persons showed that the conversion project of Leck Air Base is still in the very beginning of planning. The main idea for the conversion of Leck Air Base is to transform the former military area into an area with following purposes:

- renewable energy park
- industrial park
- innovation center

A clear plan for the main renewable energy source at this phase of planning not yet defined. Likewise, it is too early to define a concept for the industrial park. The lead idea here is a holistic concept, which asks for a renewable energy related industrial park concept. The main reason for the slow progress are natural protection imposts. The responsible persons are standing in contact with the federal government in Kiel to clarify these problems. The object of these imposts are rare form of grasses, which are spreading in these unused area. Public discussions argue this grasses are going to be removed by natural transformation processes, which is not topic of these paper. Another problem, as indicated in communication with involved people, might be the kind of idealistic view of the affected people of the region, which is said to proclaim renewable energy production as the only solution. This is not considering the abundance of renewable energy in the north, compared to the high demand in the south, which will be discussed in a later part of this paper.

The main aim of the affected people within in the municipality is to create new jobs in order to replace the 800 jobs lost due to the shut down of Leck Air Base and the referring purchasing and economic power.

1.2.Definition of Conversion

The term 'conversion' in its original form goes back to the Latin word of 'conversio', which means 'revolution', 'turning in a whole circle' or simply 'change' (Latin Dictionary: conversio, n.d.). Of course this is not a sufficient definition for the specific form of military conversion used in this paper. As mentioned by Bläser and Kraus (2008) there is no universal definition within the debate for the term of military conversion. After deeper analysis Bläser and Kraus eventuate in the following definition: “transformation from military to civil usage under consideration of the linked effects”. (Bläser & Kraus, 2008) Hereby, four different fields of military conversion are defined:

- armament conversion
- conversion of mobile armament objects
- garrison conversion
- regional and environmental conversion

For the topic of this paper relevant are garrison conversion and to some extend regional and environmental conversion.

As defined by Bläser and Kraus, the here relevant conversion processes are often tightly interlinked. It is said, that closure of garrisons and diminishing of personnel contingent is leading to economic and social upheaval. These processes are simultaneously asking for a new usage of the areas and compensation impulses.

2.Region and Object

The following part will first describe the object of this paper, Leck Air Base, prior to the introduction of the surrounding, affected region.

Fundamental information on Leck Air Base will be given. This includes geographical position, characteristics, expansion of the area and a brief overview of the former usages. The surrounding region will be described by geographical position, characteristics and socio- economic attributes. A more detailed economic analysis will be conducted in a subsequent chapter of this paper.

2.1.The Object: Leck Air Base

Leck Air Base, as a former military base of the German Army (Bundeswehr), is located in the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein, North Germany. The particular region, also known as Northern Frisia, is located close to the Danish border. The areal of Leck Air Base shares ground with the three municipalities of Leck, Klixbüll and Tinningstedt. Further information about the size of the area can be found in Table 1. Map 1 gives an overview of the exact location of the object.

The Air Base can look back on a long history of usages: in the Second War by the Third Reich Germany, in the cold war by the British Royal Air Force (RAF), followed by the new formed German Air Force, after the closure of the area as an Air Base in 1993 by Antiaircraft Units of the German Army until the end of 2013. After closure of the airfield for military purpose it was partly used by a private small engine flying club. (German Federal Ministry of Defense, n.d.) According to the society for economical fostering, Wirtschaftsförderungsgesellschaft Nordfriesland mbH (WFH NF), various constructions are on the area: office buildings, barracks, maintenance workshop air shelters, bunkers for airplanes, and the airfield itself. The buildings are said to be in good condition, and the maintenance workshop is on a high technical niveau, according to the WFG NF (2014).

Leck Air Base had major importance for the economy of the region by providing employment for about 800 people and the related purchasing power in the region.

Area of Leck Air Base

Map 1: Leck Air Base

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: 1) Society for Economic Fostering Northern Frisia(WFG NF)

Table 1: Leck Air Base - Area

2.2.The Region and City of Leck

In this part relevant regions as the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein (Germany), the administrative district Northern Frisia, the main municipality of Leck and the region of Southern Denmark will be described. Hereby, relevant information about geographical position and characteristics, and basic socio-economic relationships will be introduced. A detailed economic analysis will follow in the respective, subsequent chapter of this work.

As already stated in the previous part the Air Base Leck is located in Northern Germany, in the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein. Schleswig-Holstein itself is divided into eleven administrative districts, of which Northern Frisia is the relevant one for this paper. (Government of Schleswig- Holstein, n.d.) As mentioned the Air Base shares ground within three different municipalities: Leck, Tinningstedt and Klixbüll. A look at Table 2 reveals the relevance of the municipalities. With about 7600 inhabitants the municipality of Leck as a higher importance referring to Klixbüll with about 950 and Tinningstedt with about 250 inhabitants. Of course it could be argued that, as pointed out, the exact location of the 800 jobs associated to the close down of Leck Air Base is relevant. The impact on the smaller municipalities could indeed be bigger from a quantitative perspective. Still, with reference to Table 2 the overall municipality area of about 56km² is a rather refined area. Therefore, the main municipality of Leck will stand as a representative. Before going into deeper discussion of municipality level, we will turn to superordinated Schleswig-Holstein and Northern Frisia. Schleswig-Holstein has a predestining geographical location between the marginal seas of North Sea and Baltic Sea, with which a coastline of about 411 km is shared. (Government of Schleswig-Holstein, n.d) This becomes majorly important for the later analysis of energy potential. Northern Frisia is the most northerly district of Germany, as can be seen in Map 2. The coastline here has about 156 km, only taken into account the mainland. Which is, compared to 411 km for Schleswig-Holstein, a rather big share. It can be argued to consider the neighboring district of Schleswig-Flensburg. Since Leck Air Base is locate in Northern Frisia and Schleswig-Holstein as an entirety serves as a representative, Schleswig- Flensburg will not be separately observed.


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Leck Air Base. Conversion of Military Property as a Chance for Renewable Energies
Aalborg University
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leck, base, conversion, military, property, chance, renewable, energies
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Frank Machens (Author), 2014, Leck Air Base. Conversion of Military Property as a Chance for Renewable Energies, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/275174


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