German co-operatives lead renewable energy surge



Co-operatives in Germany are driving forward the country’s renewable energy efforts, according to a report by Energy Transition.

The study, called German Energy Transition: Arguments for a renewable energy future, outlines how some €800m from 80,000 private investors has been put towards community-based renewables projects in the country.

It is often said that only the wealthy can make such investments; for instance, critics charge that you need to own your own home to have a solar roof”, the report says.

But more than 90% of Germany’s energy co-operatives have already set up solar arrays, and a single share in such co-operatives costs less than €500 in two-thirds of the co-operatives – with the minimum amount less than €100 in some cases.”

UK projects such as WestmillDrumlin and Newport have all attracted significant investment during their respective share offers and are among those that fly the flag for British community renewables.

But Germany continues to be a global frontrunner when it comes to clean energy co-operatives, and Sven Giegold, MEP for the country’s Green Party, said these projects can be “really proud” of the movement they have created.

A UK group led by The Co-operative and Forum for the Future recently published community energy manifesto, and met with energy secretary Ed Davey to discuss the policies needed in order to realise a “revolution” in energy ownership.

Further reading:

Manifesto published to accelerate ‘community energy revolution’

Harnessing the power of a community

Community renewables: creating sustainable wealth with values

The Guide to Limitless Clean Energy


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