“The bluff with citizens’ wind farms”
The apparent success of citizens’ energy projects in Germany’s first onshore wind power auction in May was met with relief by those who feared the new support scheme might favour large companies at the expense of smaller bidders, Daniel Wetzel writes in Die Welt. But evidence was mounting that the victorious citizens’ projects might not be worthy of the name. “There is reason to suspect that large, professional wind power project developers founded citizen energy cooperatives themselves and sent their members as stooges to seize construction contracts with rebates,” Wetzel writes. Several important industry groups, such as the BDEW and the BWE, have sent a letter to government representatives in parliament demanding a change in the legal definition of citizen cooperatives. Germany’s Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) examined all successful citizens’ projects in order to identify possible fraud cases, he writes.
See the CLEW factsheet High hopes and concerns over onshore wind power auctions for background.