Hope for returns with “clean” electricity

Hope for returns with 'clean' electricity

It is undisputed that stadtische werke (suc) still obtains a large proportion of its electricity from the grafenrheinfeld nuclear power plant. There are also a number of people in the city and the district who don’t like it. But how would it be to produce electricity on site in an environmentally friendly way with renewable energy and earn money with it?? "Think globally and act locally", says wolfgang weib. He is one of those involved in setting up an energy cooperative. Because he has already gained experience with a similar project.

In 2004, together with like-minded people, he had founded "sonne uber coburg", a company under civil law, founded in. Your concern: initiating and operating burger photovoltaic plants. "Our idea was that citizens would finance part of the plant with their contributions and profit from it."

Things did not go badly at first. Three photovoltaic systems were put into operation by 2009: on the anger gymnasium (dismantled again due to the uncertain future of the hall), on the multi-purpose hall in ahorn (the modules from the anger hall were moved there) and on the waste sorting plant in blumenrod. However, the number of so-called silent partners decreased. It became even more difficult when the feed-in tariff under the renewable energies act fell in 2012 and is still falling. But the prices for the modules remain unchanged high. It is not easy for a company to finance everything, to service loans, to pay back the shareholders’ deposits plus interest. "We are liable with our private assets", says wolfgang weib. A cooperative, on the other hand, has completely different possibilities, can be better distributed and include communities.

Regional manager stefan hinterleitner came up with the idea of an energy cooperative just in time. "I have presented the project at a burger workshop. After all, 70 people were interested", tells stefan hinterleitner. Only two people could not warm up to the idea. What are the goals of the cooperative? "We want to contribute to the region becoming more and more independent from fossil energy sources and to reduce the CO 2 emissions. We are also thinking about saving energy." There are already interesting models. And: "if people are already affected by wind turbines or crude photovoltaic systems, then they should also benefit from them." By this, stefan hinterleitner also means those who do not have their own land or their own house to build solar systems on, or who lack the capital to join a company. Anyone can become a member of a cooperative, even with little start-up capital. "We don’t promise dream loans, but a secure one."

The idea is to invest not only in photovoltaics, but also in various forms of renewable energy, such as wind and hydropower. The city of coburg and the district municipalities are also involved. "We are currently talking to representatives of the five regional energy suppliers. It would be very good if you became a member of the cooperative", says stefan hinterleitner. But now the conditions for this must first be created. "We have formed three working groups. One is working on the articles of association, one is preparing a pilot plant and the third is thinking about how to present the project to the public."

A dozen people, including several mayors, are involved in the preparations. "We have looked at cooperatives in neumarkt, roth and grafenwohr." In the spring of 2014, it is expected that the citizens’ energy cooperative can be founded.

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