Monday, August 27, 2012

Crowdfunding for renewables - Lessons from Germany's solar experience.

A study released last week (.pdf here) indicated Germany's latest solar installations were much more likely to be very large arrays.
The article I cite here indicates that new financing models are accompanying that change.
Some time ago I noted the pricing quoted in a NY Times article, for the second quarter of 2011: "residential installations cost $6.42 per watt; nonresidential installations cost $5.20 per watt and installations done by the utilities themselves cost $3.75 per watt."
It would seem in Germany the lowering of the FiT offers has changed the dynamic from rich people installing their own panels based on a high rate of return for their greenness, to collectives (probably of rich people) acquiring far more efficient solar installations as a group.

Crowdfunding for renewables - News - Renewables International:
Although the average PV array size in Germany is growing, arrays that might be considered commercial or utility-scale in other countries are generally still owned by citizens in Germany. Now, a Berlin-based startup has launched an Internet platform for community-owned solar arrays to facilitate not only financing, but also the sharing of technical, legal, and business expertise. A recent 9.7 MW array shows how community ownership works even on a large scale....
Continue reading at Renewables International

I am still unaware of a convincing argument for "community" ownership, on the basis of exploiting contracts guaranteed by the public, as compared to public ownership.
Community, in this sense, strikes me as "club" - and reminds me of a Groucho Marx line.

MicroFiT rates that have the public pay more for generation from an individual home strike me as morally wrong.

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