Wind mills should provide leverage for developing the community

Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy are working on models for how the community will be happy with the wind mills and in turn get subsidiaries for developing the community. How does this sound?: A local fund with up to 1,5 million DKK each year, that is suppoerting the local school, hall, sport activities, new jobs, beautification and tourist activities? It may sound like a dream, but it is already real in Hvide Sande, where tree large wind mills has been erected. It can also be real in your community, if you  join forces for erecting wind mills. We have to create local sense of ownership of the wind mills in the future. Only in this way can we erect more wind mills, and at the same time create local development.

Foto: Jane Kruse - Vi er nødt til at skabe lokalt ejerskab af vindmøllerne fremover. Kun på den måde kan vi få flere vindmøller op – og samtidig skabe lokal udvikling, siger Jane Kruse, forstander på Nordisk Folkecenter for Vedvarende energi.

Foto: Jane Kruse
– We have to establish local ownership of the wind mills in the future. Only this way can we errect more wind mills – and at the same time create local development, says Jane Kruse, head of Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy.

These words are coming from Jane Kruse, who is the head of Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy. Here they are wirking to expand the idea about an organizational model, that means that wind mills in the future should not be owned by large investors, who live far away – but should be owned by local people and at the same time create development in the community.

Local ownership should be created The challenge is obvious: There has not been erected large wind mills within the municipality of Thisted since 2007. when the municipaliy in 2012 tried to establish seven projects with a total of 40 wind mills, they got over 500 pages with objections, and only two projects was approved. Even though 80% of the danes in general are positive towards wind mills, they are often against it being in their local community. The way is therefore to create local ownership, to the wind mills. This can be done by creating a nonprofit fund which funds will go to developing the community. In this way the wind mills, can provide leverage and bring a new economy to the outlying areas and create a local development – and we need this – especially in this part of Denmark, says Jane Kruse.

New organizational models In specific the Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy are working on spreading the new organizational models for how, large wind mills can be owned locally and thus being a part of the local developent.

  • Today there are no technical or economic barriers for at we can use 100 percent renewable energy. The challenge right now lies in the organizational, says Jane Kruse.

She points out that a a local wind mill project should benefit all – not just some individual profit makers. Right now she is working on spreading these two models: Business owned foundation and wind mills owned by the municipality. The VE-law states that local residents should be offered a minimum of 20% ownership of a wind mill project, the remaining 80% should go to the business foundation. In this way you would ensure a 100% local ownership and thus local acceptance of wind mills.

The Hvide Sande example A good example of this is this is Hvide Sande, where private project developers have worked through several years to errect wind mills in the area, but was stopped by local  protests. In stead Holmsland Klit Turistforening created a business foundation with the purpose of erecting three wind mills på 3MW on an area that was owned by the harbour of Hvide Sande. The goal is to support the development of Hvide Sande Havn and the tourism in Hvide Sande, through production of renewable energy. The 20% of the wind mill project is owned by the Hvide Sande Nordhavn Møllelaug I/S with 400 shareholders in Hvide Sande and the surrounding areas. The investment in the three wind mills has been on 91 million DKK, which has been loaned in two local banks using the wind mills as collatteral.  By establishing a business foundation, you have the opportunity to determine how the profits should be divided.

Pure win-win Is the local associations co-founders, it will be natural that a part of the profits goes to take care of the same purposes like these associations. This could be sports, local energy research and development, business evelopment etc.

  • The project in Hvide Sande, shows that the local ownershop is essential for the acceptance of the mills, and at the same time it is a part of generating money to create local development. It is a clean win-win. says Jane Kruse.

The Folkecenter has started a cooperation with AAU on spreading these models and the center has also have had the message to COP21 in december 2015. Local associations or others, who are interested in erecting locally owned wind mills can get advice and help from Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy. Read more

Foto: Nordisk Folkecenter I dag er der ikke nogle tekniske eller økonomiske barrierer for, at vi kan bruge 100 procent vedvarende energi. Udfordringen lige nu ligger i det organisatoriske og Nordisk Folkecenter for Vedvarende energi arbejder for at udbrede to modeller: erhvervsdrivende fond og kommunalt ejede vindmøller.

Foto: Nordic Folkecenter
Today there are no technical or economical barriers that is preventing os from using 100% renewable energy. The challenge now lies in the organizational and Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable energy are working on spreading two models: Business owned foundation and wind mills owned by the municipality.

Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy has published this brochure in english: http://www.folkecenter.dk/dk/news/fc/community-wind-power-for-the-world/

Wind mills towards 2020 The government has with the Energy agreement of march 2012 decided, that 50% of the danish electrical production should come from wind mills in 2020. In accordance with the Energy agreement up until 2020 there should be erected 1800 MW wind energy on land, 500 MW near shore, and 1000 MW offshore wind mills, this means that a substantial part of the wind mill construction should happen on land.