22 Jul 2019, 14:10
Benjamin Wehrmann

Auctions and support cuts put brakes on Germany’s citizen energy cooperatives – survey

Clean Energy Wire

Increased regulation threatens German citizens’ energy cooperatives, according to a survey by the national cooperative association DGRV. The cooperatives, which allow independent citizens to band together to finance renewable power projects, have been a leading force in the development of renewables in Germany and are considered crucial to maintaining public support for the energy transition. Many such cooperatives now say reduced support payments and the switch to auctions for licenses for new capacity are making it harder for them to contribute to the expansion of renewables. Following reduced support for roof-mounted solar power systems, for example, only 54 percent of cooperatives are willing to invest in these comparatively small installations, compared to 71 percent in 2018, the DGRV says. “This cannot be the political intention,” DGRV head Eckhard Ott said. 

According to the DGRV survey, there are currently some 870 citizens’ energy cooperatives in Germany, with over 180,000 members. Between them, they have invested 2.7 billion euros in renewable energy. Most cooperatives operate solar power installations.

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