Renewable energy transitions: the role of cooperatives in German energy policy

  • 20 Nov 2014
  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • Robert Sutherland Hall, 138 Union Street, Room 202, Kingston, Ontario

Andreas Wieg
Director of the Executive Staff Department at German Cooperative and Raiffeisen  Confederation (Deutscher Genossenschafts- und Raiffeisenverband e. V.; DGRV)

View C.V. [PDF]

In Germany's Energy Transition about 50 % of the total investments in green energy were made by citizens. In recent years, hundreds of thousands of people came together in numerous citizens' groups, local councils and regional businesses to establish common renewable energy projects, especially renewable energy cooperatives. Citizens are keen to participate in the energy transition with their own money and to support the regional added value. Energy plants are often launched jointly by communities, public institutions, local service companies and regional banks. Mostly these plants are installed and maintained by craftsmen based in the region. To sum up, the broad support for Germany's Energiewende is a result of the wide spread ownership of renewable energy production. Many citizens like to get involved in energy projects, especially in their neighborhoods. But the motivation is not just to earn money. They want to be a part of the whole development. And this possibility is not just confined to wealthy investors. That is the point where cooperatives come into play. That is to say, community energy projects and renewable energy cooperatives give every citizen the opportunity for ownership. In this respect, energy cooperatives organized by citizens, farmers and enterprises play an essential role in winning acceptance for the energy transition.That is why the owners - the citizens - care as much about the roll-out of renewables as they do about their energy bill.  

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