This week 1700 Dutch households raised EUR 1.3 million in just thirteen hours to buy shares in a wind turbine – setting a new world record for crowdfunding. For the next 12 years, these households will receive their own sustainable energy from the cooperatively owned turbine. With electricity costs set to rise, the ‘wind-sharers’ will benefit from big annual savings – by anticipating and managing energy needs.
Facilitated by Dutch company WindCentrale, the wind shares were sold for EUR 200 each and households bought single shares or blocks of shares. Each share corresponds to approximately 500kWh of electricity per year (the annual average household consumption in the Netherlands is 3500kWh).
Harm Reitsma, founder of Windcentrale, comments: ‘We expected things would move fast, but nobody anticipated the run on the wind-shares that happened yesterday evening. An increasing number of people want to generate their own electricity. Solar panels aren’t always an option and so wind-shares in a remote wind turbine gives everyone the chance to take matters into their own hands and generate their own clean electricity. As a result, interest in our wind-shares has been huge, and continues to rise. A good example of Power To The People!’
Windcentrale was founded in 2010, setting up cooperatives to help accelerate the switch to sustainable energy in the Netherlands. The wind-sharers jointly own the wind turbine, and a dedicated smartphone App allows every owner to see wind speeds and electricity production levels ‘real time’.
Explicitly linking patterns of energy consumption and renewable energy production is also highlighted in EnergizAIR, an Intelligent Energy-Europe project aimed at setting up a renewable energy weather forecast covering real-time production indicators for PV, solar thermal and wind turbines.
Irish start-up EnergyElephant uses a ‘e-traffic light’ system to let users know when there is a lot of renewable energy being generated. Founder Joe Borza sees this as a way to enable consumer choice in reducing household’s carbon footprint, tweeting last week ‘What a day for Irish wind energy! 40% for most of this afternoon!!!’ Time to ‘make hay while the sun shines’, and the wind blows…
Photo Credit: Crowdfunding Wind Energy/shutterstock