Headline: Consumer (Co-)Ownership in Renewables in Germany

The German legislator has made the “…preservation of the diversity of actors…” an explicit policy goal introduced since the 2014 recast of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG). Furthermore, sec. 3 no 15 of the 2016/17 recast of the EEG defines citizen energy companies as consisting of at least ten natural persons who are members eligible to vote or in which at least 51 per cent of the voting rights are held by natural persons with a permanent residency in the administrative district of the project location, and where no member or shareholder of the undertaking holds more than 10 per cent of the voting rights. Other measures at the national and the federal states level exist to support citizen energy. Finally, consumer (co-)ownership received explicit recognition of its crucial role in the 2018 recast of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) as part of the Clean Energy Package. As of today, RE consumer (co-)ownership comes mainly in two forms: individual ownership and/or leasing arrangements, especially for small PV or battery storage projects, but also for heat pumps, with self-sufficiency being a major motivation as the legal framework is shifting away from guaranteed feed-in tariffs; and collective investments differing with regard to motivation and organizational form. Three legal structures have become “standards” for collective investments in the German RE sector, namely (i) civil law partnerships in use mainly for small PV installations, (ii) limited partnerships with a limited liability company as a general partner common for medium- to large-scale projects, especially in wind energy, and (iii) energy cooperatives whose number has increased significantly in the past, especially in the period 2008—2012.

Monographien und Sammelwerke

Yildiz, Ö., Gotchev, B., Holstenkamp, L., Müller, J. R., Radtke, J., & Welle, L. (2019). Consumer (Co-)Ownership in Renewables in Germany. In J. Lowitzsch (Ed.), Energy Transition. Financing Consumer Co-Ownership in Renewables (pp. 271-293). Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

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