Community owned wind parks
Topic of the practice
Good Practice Information
Community Owned Windfarms are a concept, ranging from 100% community initiated, planned and owned wind farms to "only" fund based community ownership. It was developed and fostered in Schleswig-Holstein in the early beginnings of wind energy harvesting. Until a few years ago, up to 90% of all wind farms in the north-western part of Schleswig-Holstein were operated on this concept. The first community owned offshore wind park is in the planning stage. Involved are the public, the regional wind energy industry and related industries which include, for instance, service enterprises and financial institutions. Regional planning agencies and surveyors are involved as well. It is financed by the communities. Usually they need an equity position of 20%. Credits are given by local finance institutions or by the Investitionsbank Schleswig-Holstein or the KfW-Bank. Its main impacts are: strengthening of the regional wind industry sector, shifting more responsibility and power to communities, sharing the created value of wind energy directly with the communities. Key factors for success are the support from regional government, a regular dialogue between the cluster and the regional administration, sufficient interest and commitment by the industry and communities and a start-up financial help.
Evidence of success
Community owned wind parks bring a lot of benefit for the region. There is a huge regional value creation, because the development is done by regional planning agencies, the construction is done by regional businesses and financing is done by regional finance institutes. Communities gain a lot more trade tax. Every citizen is able to join the corporation, even with a small sum (beginning with 250 EUR). The involved commoners will then get an annual rate of return. Wind parks create a lot of new jobs. But most important of all, the community owned wind parks foster acceptance amongst the public for wind energy. Furthermore the parks are an active contribution to climate protection.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Federal State of Schleswig-Holstein
Annex completed on: 02-10-2011