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Published on February 24th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan


LEGO Owners Put $500 Million into Offshore Wind Farm in Germany

February 24th, 2012 by  


Wouldn’t it be cool to build a wind farm out of LEGOs? They must have such options now, eh? Especially now that we see LEGO’s owners are wind power fans,.. or that they just see the financial benefits of investing in wind power.

As reported yesterday by Reuters, the family firm that owns LEGO is buying approximately one-third of a new offshore wind farm in Germany. The investment will provide LEGO with all of its needed energy up through 2020.

“Lego’s parent company, Kirkbi A/S, will invest 3 billion crowns ($534 million) for a 32 percent stake in DONG Energy’s 277-megawatt Borkum Riffgrund 1 wind farm, which is scheduled to be fully operational in 2015,” Reuters reports

“For DONG, which has previously sold stakes in wind farms to institutional investors like pension insurance groups, the deal represents a key widening of its investor base to include corporate groups for the first time.”

This investment also lets LEGO market that it invests in wind power with the new WindMade logo.

“This investment supports the Lego Group’s ambitious environmental goals,” Kirkbi Chief Executive Soren Thorup Sorensen told Reuters. “This also provides a solid long-term investment for us with a reasonable return.”

But this was no minor step — it’s the first time Kirkbi has invested directly in an energy project and is “is a sizeable investment” for the company, according to Sorensen.

As Andrew noted last week, renewable energy investments are increasingly coming from the corporate world, which sees them as sound, high-ROI long-term investments. (Note Google’s early and strong leadership in this respect, as well as Apple’s announcement this week that it is building the largest end-user-owned solar array in the U.S.) I would say, expect to see more and more of this sort of announcement.

LEGO Man via de Raaf

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About the Author

Zach is tryin’ to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he’s also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada.

Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don’t jump to conclusions.

  • Jonah_Falcon

    Meanwhile, proud, self-described “Photovoltaic Champion”, Germany, pulls the plug. The government is cutting solar subsidies, and will curtail them completely by 2017. The reason? It doesn’t pencil out at over 400% the cost per kwh of conventional generation.

    German citizens, second only to “Wind Energy Champion” Denmark, is highest in terms of the cost of electricity.

    You read it right. The wind energy champion Denmark pays the highest kwh costs in the developed world and Solar champion Germany pays the second highest rates.

    Zachary must have a money tree to pay his electricity bill.
    Better plant more trees.

    • lukealization

      But you’re not nearly considering the entire picture. For one, Denmark and Germany are wealthy countries – their populations are rich. They can afford to pay relatively more than others.

      Would you rather pay more for electricity, or die prematurely from the myriads of nitric, sulfuric, carbonic chemicals and other miscellaneous compounds from vehicle emissions, car exhaust and hydraulic fracturing?

      Yeah. I know my choice. Get off your soapbox, it’s my f*ing turn.

      • Jonah_Falcon

        I think my post indicates I would rather NOT pay more for govt subsidized wind and solar. Like they do in Denmark and Germany, where according to you, have money to burn.

        You should now exit your house made of straw bales and take notice of the pending doom that is certain in the EU. Even Denmark and Germany aren’t gonna escape this one.

        • lukealization

          Ding ding ding, we have a winner! Your reply didn’t back up your argument at all. Whenever someone decides personal insults are necessary, it’s a clear sign that they have an invalid argument.

          I would much rather pay high electricity prices than slowly suffocate in the coal dust fumes.

        • Jonah_Falcon

          Luke, I didn’t want to get into macro economics and say something you wouldn’t understand. Judging by your responses, I thought you might be retarded. I’m sorry if this offends you but I was trying to play it safe.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Well, you’re lucky.  Wind is already one of our cheapest ways to put power in your wires.  Cheapest without any subsidies included.

          Subsidies, for wind, now work to speed the installation of wind generation so that we can quicker cut the use of coal.  

          Burning coal – that is where you are paying large money.  Your tax dollars and health insurance premiums are very heavily subsidizing the coal industry.  They’re causing billions and billions in health costs and you’re paying for their damage.

          Get coal plants shut down and we spend far less to treat coal-caused illness.

          Solar is already cheaper than coal when you recognize the actual price of burning coal.

          You should clean the coal dust out of your eyes and look at the future.  It’s one of cheaper electricity, cheaper driving, and a much healthier environment.

          You, and the rest of us, are making an investment in a future that is going to return huge benefits for our modest input.  It’s simply good business, Jonah.  Very smart investing.

    • Tom King

      Solar energy production has been growing at 65% per year for a long time now. Prices are simply going to keep falling while prices for conventional energy are obviously going to keep rising. Faced with a downward price trend or an upward trend, which slope would you rather ski on?

    • Jonathan, for 1, Denmark and Germany pay higher electricity rates for reasons extraneous to renewable energy use.

      2) solar PV reduces the price of electricity and will do so even more in the future: http://cleantechnica.com/2012/02/09/solar-pv-reducing-price-of-electricity-in-germany/
      same with wind: http://cleantechnica.com/world-wind-power/5/
      but i have a feeling it’s not worth wasting my fingertips on you.

    • Anne

      Jonah got excited too soon: Germany didn’t pull the plug, it merely reduced incentives to be more in line with PV prices. They installed 4.3 GW over the first 6 months of 2012 and it is expected the total for 2012 is in the 7-8 GW band, just as 2011 and 2010.

      You are overinterpreting the end of subsidies in 2017. 2017 is still 5 years off, and a lot can happen until then. It is reasonable to expect that PV doesn’t need anymore subsidies by 2017, so the continued growth will be unaffected by that prospect. PV is on its way to becoming the cheapest electricity source.

      In democratic countries like Denmark and Germany, a well educated population have decided to subsidise clean, endless sources of energy instead of mercury spewing coal. Why is that such a bitter pill for you to swallow?

  • rommel43

    An excuse to go buy more legos yay

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