Energy cooperatives, in particular solar, are widely distributed in many countries of Europe. These associations, according to experts ‘ calculations, make a fairly capacious contribution to the economies of their countries. Ukraine at this stage is only adopting the experience of countries that have outlined a course on renewable energy as a priority. Our country does not have a strong legislative background regulating the functioning and full development of cooperatives. Let us consider the example of some of the most prominent countries in the field of energy operations; what steps taken by our state to reach a fundamentally new level of energy generation from alternative sources.
Energy cooperatives are not limited to a model of electricity generation with the sun or wind. In Germany now these associations work in diametrically different directions, including provide the population with heat and other benefits. In addition, all within the framework of alternative energy.
Participants of German energy cooperatives have long understood that earning only on the “green” tariff means to limit their sphere of activity. That is why there are many models in which cooperatives why work in different directions.
Cooperatives Germany, there are different scales. Associations that include residents of only one district of the city or even the streets are actively working. The largest power plant, which operates on biological gas, and is in the possession of the cooperative, is located in the city of Feldheim. Its capacity is 526 kilowatts.
In addition to Germany, energy operations are widely spread in the Netherlands, Denmark, Australia, Great Britain and Sweden. It is necessary to emphasize energy cooperatives United States of America. In the United States, there is a special Association of energy operators, the number of members of which reaches 750. There are cooperatives in 46 States. These associations form a powerful energy unit, through which millions of US residents and co-owners of cooperatives receive the necessary amount of electricity.
In Ukraine, the only option to get electricity is to connect to the regional Power. For many Europeans it is already outdated, because historically energy cooperatives originate from the 30-40-ties of the XX century.
In the 1970s, Denmark was very dependent on fossil fuels imported from other countries. The fuel sector of the country was distribute in such a way that about 90 percent of oil fell. At that time, the impetus for finding alternative solutions was the oil crisis. The government’s attention drawn to wind power, because Denmark has favorable climatic conditions for its full development.
Already in 2013, wind turbines could provide almost 4 thousand megawatts of energy to the total energy network. To clarify the picture, it should be note that Denmark’s energy consumption is only 800 megawatts more than this amount.
Energy cooperatives have played a primary role in that country. Experts assure that 85 percent of wind turbines were install with the assistance of cooperative members. In total, more than one hundred thousand families are involved in the generation of “green” energy in Denmark.
In addition to wind generation, Danish residents united in cooperatives to heat their homes. In General, Denmark is a vivid example of the active use of renewable energy sources and respect for the environment.
Cooperatives have different models of interaction between co-owners. Consider the most popular.
Association of owners of private SES
Here we are talking about the fact that people enter into a cooperative to reduce the cost of buying and installing equipment. The cost of home SES 20 percent less if you buy panels and associated equipment consisting of the co-operative wholesale.
SonnenCommunity-innovative energy market
This platform was develop in Germany. A special feature is that inside the service, participants can buy from each other accumulated in excess of electricity, and much cheaper than from other suppliers.
A new format of interaction – Sunny garden
This model of cooperatives is quite popular in the United States. The specifics of this project is that even a family with limited means can become a co-owner of Solar Gardens. Installation of a solar power plant within the household requires considerable investments and many forces. For the average family will need to install a couple dozen panels to ensure energy consumption at home.
In addition, the estimate should include many items of related equipment and installation costs. Solar gardens allow you to invest your money in several panels in a common project and profit from them on a personal account. Some people consider this option as a kind of Deposit or alternative to pension, because payments will made for 25 years.
In Colorado, a law was pass in 2011 regulating the work of cooperatives of this kind and thereby protecting depositors.
Solar energy of Ukraine attracts investors from a number of countries. While cooperatives in our country are just beginning to exist, although the benefits of such investment are obvious and confirmed by existing projects. If the government at the legislative level takes all necessary measures to regulate the work of energy cooperatives, we will have a chance to make a jump in the direction of energy independence.