Willie was born at 11th of April 1981 in Munich, Germany. He spent his youth and schooldays in Munich, the city of beer gardens and home of the Oktoberfest. If not sitting with his “Lederhosen” in beer gardens, he spent a lot of time on mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking and archery in the Alps, whereby he developed a passionate addiction to nature, what made him start a rather “green” career.
After finishing his A-levels (the issue of his first thesis was “Big ocean currents - formation, mechanisms and impact on the climate”), he studied “Forest Engineering” at the University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan-Triesdorf and thereafter “Renewable Resources” at the Technical University of Munich. The issue of his master thesis was “Public acceptance of biomass heat (and power) plants in Bavaria”. He got the opportunity to continue his “green” career as a research associate at the University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan-Triesdorf and as a PhD-student at the Technical University of Munich researching on the issue of public acceptance of biogas plants in Bavaria/Germany from citizens´ point of view. He is still addicted to sport, at present he can´t wait for spring to come to drive on the Danube with a kayak and to fly thermals in the Dolomite Alps with his paraglider.
Research and goals
Public acceptance of renewable energy plants will become a big deal in Germany in the next decades. In 2011, the German government concluded to phase out of nuclear energy until 2020, what means that in the next decade, Germany urgently needs to establish some additional thousands of renewable energy facilities. For example already now, there are over 2.000 biogas plants in Bavaria, which is one third of all German biogas plants. The image of biogas plants is deteriorating because of negative effects of the plants, like noise or odor emissions, because of corn-monocultures in the countryside (most biogas plants are driven with corn) or because of concurrences between the production of substrates for biogas plants (corn) and food production. Instances accumulate, where plants could not be built because of acceptance problems with residents. It seems quite plausible that there has to be established a compensation system for negative external effects by renewable energy facilities that provides certain benefits for aggrieved residents. This will not only apply for biogas plants, but also for any other type of renewable energy facility (like e.g. geothermal plants, wind-power plants or photovoltaic display plants). He plans to identify heterogenous preferences concerning the most important attributes of biogas plants for citizens with a choice-based-conjoint analysis and then generate groups of respondents via latent-class-analysis respectively individual-based analyses via hierarchical-bayes-analysis. The outcoming groups from the latent-class-analysis for example will be used to get most realistic typologies of residents. Furthermore he plans to follow a "willingness-to-accept"-approach in his CBC-study to determine the extent of compensation claims by offering respondents different amounts of money per year and household. He is very happy and proud to be one of the recipients of a Sawtooth software grant. The opportunity to use Sawtooth software (one solution as well as for designing his CBC, as for data-acquisition as well as for data-analysis), in his opinion is a very elegant and efficient way to get reliable results in his CBC-study.