In September 2017, member Norbert N. Vasen will launch the business Togethenergy in Switzerland. It aims to support renewable energy cooperatives, so that citizens will be able to generate renewable energy with their own plant. This plant will not generate only energy, but also dividends to the members.
Why are renewable energy cooperatives a solution to the challenges related to our thirst for energy? Renewable energy plants meet fewer protests if proposed by citizens rather than by large project developers, because the benefits remain local. The social value of the cooperatives is also significant; neighbours get to know each other better and work together on a good cause, whilst obtaining more profit than from a bank savings account. These are just a few reasons why renewable energy cooperatives are booming in Europe.
Renewable energy cooperatives are therefore one of the cornerstones to the energy strategies of all countries, including Switzerland.
Togethenergy aims to support local communities, small and large, in starting a cooperative. This is not an easy task and many aspects must be addressed, which is why cooperatives often take a long time to start. The company’s goal and participant’s value is to accelerate the development of a renewable energy cooperative in local neighbourhoods, so that participants can start to contribute earlier to a cleaner future and to a better yield of their invested capital. This will be done at an individual pace and measure, respecting the do-it-yourself culture common to all renewable energy cooperatives.
The first step for Togethenergy on the Swiss market is to find persons interested in participation in a local renewable energy cooperative. Participants will be grouped into communities according to where they live or work.
Image credit: Lance Cheung, flickr/Creative Commons