Monday, December 12, 2005

Renewable energy brings consumers savings already today - if they belong to a wind power cooperative

Örjan Hedblom, Chairman of the Swedish lobby organisation for wind power saves 3000 kronor (about 300 Euros) on electricity every year thanks to wind power. This is because he has gone into wind power as an investor. Says Örjan ”I don’t know why everyone doesn’t do it. The investment pays back after a few years, and you can get out and get your investment at any time.”

The Swedish state introduced a system of electricity certification of renewable energy production in 1993. This is how it works: producers of electricity get a certificate for every megawatt hour (1000 kilowatt hours) of electricity they produce. Then consumers buy the certificates from producers, or let the producers administer the certificates for them.

SVEF, Sweden’s wind power cooperative owns four wind turbines producing electricity for some 800 members. These members buy shares in the cooperative at 5 000 kronor (500 Euros) each. For each share, they buy 1000kWh of wind generated electricity. The rest of their consumption comes from traditional generation.

Ech year the government raises the percentage of renewable generation required in order to stimulate a market for these certificates, form 7.0 percent today up to 16 percent 2010.

For one kWh today members pay 0.525 kr compared with 0.722 which is the lowest non-renewably generated electricity available today. The highest is 1.033 kr. This means there are still savings to be made even including interest payments on any loans. Other wind power cooperatives show a 7-9% return on capital.

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