There is an obvious benefit to sharing profits of wind energy development with local communities. Developers are realizing they are more likely to get ‘buy-in’ from local citizens when the profits of installation will directly line their pockets and help their local community. When citizens benefit from a development, they are not as likely to complain or act in a ‘NIMBY’ (Not In My Backyard) way.
A lot of countries and communities are just realizing the benefits of local or citizen-share ownership, and some have experienced great results from this business model already.
According to a post on the windworks.org site, Paul Gipe writes:
“The Germans, like the Danes before them, have become renowned for not only integrating wind energy into the fabric of their communities but enabling citizen, (Bürger) ownership.
In German, this is called the Bürgerbeteiligung or literally citizen-share ownership movement. And it has been a resounding success. In 2011 more than 50% of all wind-generating capacity in Germany was owned by its own citizens – directly.”
A good example of local engagement comes from the developers, TCI Renewables, for the proposed ‘Rumbletonrig Wind Farm’. They really worked hard to engage the local community and keep them informed, including outlining all the benefits to the community on the wind farm’s own website.
They are offering a “6% share of the wind farm profits to support local initiatives which could be worth around £4m over 25 years, as well as a one off payment of £150,000 to Greenlaw Football Club to deliver a 3G pitch.”
When more wind farm developers realize the importance of working together with local citizens/communities, there may be a lot less push-back and anti-wind forces against wind energy growth now and in the future.