As the movement for local sustainability continues to grow in scope and professionalism, it requires an annual report as well as an analysis of sectoral developments. The current situation of the local energy movement is of interest to its own initiators, to policymakers and to administrators. What impact have all of the local efforts had? How many initiatives are currently operational? What projects have been implemented or are being designed? How do these projects contribute to achieving the national targets – in kW, MW and euros?
Local efforts in 2017
Dutch energy cooperatives continue to gain momentum, building on last year’s trends. For instance, the number of cooperatives is still increasing, partly due to the establishment of 100 new solar cooperatives in 2017. No fewer than 63 of these initiatives have been sponsored by the Postcoderoosregeling (‘Postcode rose regulation’, a tax arrangement by the government which exempts participants in a cooperative project to generate renewable energy from having to pay energy tax). This scheme fits the current trend of standardisation, specialisation and resource pooling.
Collective solar capacity now totals 37 MWp, a 53% growth compared to 2016. This increase is expected to continue into next year, when at least twice the number of projects have already been scheduled. Such projects include many new solar roofs in the ‘postcoderoos’ (Dutch for ‘postcode rose’, i.e. a neighbourhood comprising a certain postcode and the adjacent postcodes) and an sizeable quantity of large-scale solar farms.
The capacity of cooperative wind energy is virtually identical to the past year at 118 MW. 2018-2019 is set to launch major wind farms with cooperative turbines, such as Krammer Wind Farm (103 MW) as well as the wind farms at Geldermalsen and Tilburg. These initiatives have sprung from intensive collaboration between various cooperatives, commercial parties and governments. Partly due to municipal requirements, the development of onshore wind turbines is increasingly a cooperative effort.
Currently, collective solar and wind projects generate enough power to fuel 85,000 households. Their cooperatives are also engaged in energy-saving initiatives and the initial designs for neighbourhoods without a natural gas connection. Finally, local energy generation is becoming popular as a power product, including with the purchasing departments of municipalities. The marketing of local generation as a regional product continues to flourish as well
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About HIER opgewekt
HIER opgewekt (‘generated HERE’) is the number one knowledge network for everyone engaged or interested in the local generation of sustainable energy, from the initiators and clients/members of energy cooperatives to collaboration partners such as municipalities, provinces, corporations, owners’ associations and service providers. These collaboration partners include sector organisation ODE decentraal, the government, municipalities and the grid operators.
HIER opgewekt acts as a knowledge network in organising knowledge sessions, a yearly event and the publication of its annual Local Energy Monitor. Moreover, the organisation has a key position in connecting all parties within the field. HIER opgewekt gathers and generates information to support citizens who collectively generate renewable energy.