Bürger nehmen Stromversorgung selbst in die Hand
Initially, Hans Glass was just curious. Sometimes he went up the hill near his village to where the windmill stands 133 meters high. Then he checked the meter reading - especially when there had been a storm the previous night. In the end, Glass' family, like most other households of the village, has gotten directly involved in the profits of the wind turbine.
Meanwhile, Glass is pretty relaxed. He reflects tranquilly on every passing second. "The money multiplies itself," he says and smiles. Around € 20 (euros) are generated by the wheel every hour for the village community. On a stormy night, the profit can even go into the thousands of euros.
"Community wind farms are a good investment for the little guy," says Ulf Gerdes, spokesman for the German Federal Wind Energy Association (BWE). Precisely this prospect of profit helps to soften rural residents´opposition to wind turbines in many places, or not to give rise to it in the first place.
Especially in economically disadvantaged and windy regions, the idea of the locally owned wind power has high resonance. Such is the case in the North Frisian border town of Ellhöft. "There's not much opportunity around here for income. So the people are really waiting on the new turbines," says Reinhard Ellhöft Christiansen, manager of the wind farm. The 8.4-megawatt wind farm with 50 citizen shareholders went on the grid in summer 2000. A quarter of the 8.5 million euros for the six wheels was provided by the villagers, the rest by the local Raiffeisenbank.
Dennoch gehen auch in diesem Jahr mehrere neue Bürgerwindparks ans Netz, zum Beispiel im nordrhein-westfälischen Hilchenbach, wo derzeit einer der höchsten Parks Europas entsteht. Sogar auf dem Meer ist ein Bürgerwindpark geplant. Das Projekt Butendiek liegt rund 30 Kilometer vor Sylt. Im Jahr 2001 kauften dort 8400 zumeist aus der Region stammende Menschen Anteile von mindestens 250 Euro und finanzierten so die Kosten der Planungsphase. Allerdings lässt der Baubeginn des 240-Megawatt-Projekts noch auf sich warten.Still going again this year, several new community wind farms to the grid, for example, in North Rhine-Westphalia Hilchenbach, which is currently being one of the greatest parks in Europe.Even at sea a citizen wind farm is planned. The project is located approximately 30 kilometers off Butendiek Sylt. In 2001, bought mostly from the region where 8400 people originating at least 250 shares of €, thus financing the cost of the planning phase.However, can the construction of the 240-megawatt project yet to come.
The wind force is not the only renewable energy, deserve in their production people from the region. "There are many companiesin green power with citizen participation," said a Greenpeace spokesman. This is even true for the hydroelectricity. In Bremen,they should rinse the future residents high profits in your pocket.
The Hanseatic city is Germany's first hydroelectric power stationwith public participation occur: 51 percent of the 16 million euros of equity capital will be the hydroelectric plant in Bremen GmbHcan shoot from environmentally-conscious citizens and yield. At aminimum deposit of 2500 € are interested can join. The plant willsupply about 14,000 homes with electricity.
In another green energy, the sun also benefit many individuals: a homeowner with a solar system can feed their electricity toaround 45 cents per kilowatt hour in the public network - a price that is significantly above the market level.
And even when electricity cooperatives and limited partnershipsare on the rise. Greenpeace Energy, providing them with green electricity now 80,000 customers. Turnover tripled from 2004 to 2006 approximately 35 million €. The profits are divided 14 000cooperative members.
Bürgerwindpark Oederquart Erschließungs- und Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH gründeten und diese mit einem Stammkapital ausstatteten.
Darüber hinausgehende vertragliche Vereinbarungen sind ebenfalls anzuerkennen (Anmerkung: bei der Strompreisgenehmigung).
Dies machte den Weg frei für kommunale Lösungen.
Dr. Schulte-Janson hatte seit der ersten Anfrage aus Aachen keinen Zweifel daran gelassen, dass er den Antrag eines Energieversorgers auf Strompreiserhöhung zugunsten kostendeckender Vergütung positiv bescheiden würde, falls er denn gestellt werde. "Oder wartet ihr noch auf eine Genehmigung der UNESCO?"
In der Zwischenzeit hatten die Stadt Freising (auf Betreiben von Ernst Schrimpff) und die Stadt Hammelburg (auf Betreiben von
Hans-Josef Fell) der Stadt Aachen den Rang abgelaufen und das Programm vorher eingefürt. Trotzdem wurde das Programm unter der Bezeichnung "Aachener Modell" weltweit bekannt.
Wind lobbyist Gerder says: "The majority of the value of community wind farms stays in the region." Also in Ellhöft neighboring villages expressed so much interest that they joined the project. 220 individuals, including 30 Danes, joined together to form Grenzstrom Vindved KG and built four wind turbines in the past year. Later this year, three of the world's largest turbine blades will be added, with wing spans of 126 meters. After twelve years, estimates Christiansen, the investment will have paid at least € 2000 per owner. The expected annual return: eight percent.Business is good: Christiansen talks about "annual returns in the double-digit percentage range." Even many Ellhöft residents who have not acquired any shares are happy about the wind farm. For example, owners of preserved land where no plants themselves will be located, but which still lie in the vicinity, receive lease payments. Those villagers owning the land where the access roads were built to the wind turbines also earn income. "Many orders also go to companies in the area," says Christiansen.According to BWE, almost two-thirds of Germany´s approximately 19,000 wind turbines are in citizens´ wind farms. That is, they are wholly or partly in the hands of private individuals. However, where foreign investors set up wind plants, the resistance sometimes recalls the protests against coal-fired or nuclear power plants. in the opinion of environmental groups, hundreds more turbines would be possible in Southern Germany alone without any threat to ecosystems, if the population or local politicians did not stand in opposition.A money printing machine the system is not - with a return of five percent it is more like having "a better savings account," says Glass. The turbine is "an investment for the next generation" in any case. The steel and concrete colossus´ capacity of 2.5 megawatts of electricity exceeds the Witteheimer consumption tenfold. 2600 tons of CO2 are offset annually, blowing away by far any savings possible by a conventional power plant.Glass is an honorary director of "Wittesheim Windpark", which is nearly a kilometer outside the large Bavarian village of 230 inhabitants. 50 Wittesheim residents and 15 outsiders invested in the citizen turbines in 2002. The amount of deposits contributed varied significantly - however altogether there was a total start-up capital of 1.1 million euros. The remaining 900,000 euros for the construction came from the local Raiffeisen bank.The big energy companies have some competition: While they make billions in profits with their coal and nuclear power plants, in the booming renewable energy market they have a disadvantage - most wind turbines and solar installations are privately owned by individuals. In the city of Bremen, moreover, the first citizen-owned hydro power plant has now been built.