Spain at last has its own renewable energy cooperative — Som Energia — founded in Girona in the country’s Catalonia region. The group gets involved in profitable renewable energy projects to supply green electricity to its members and partners.
The Cooperative has just surpassed the 3,500 membership mark (October 2012).
This nonprofit organization allows members to invest directly into renewable energy projects, as is already being done in many Northern and Central European countries, such as Germany. The current economic crisis is really hurting Spain, and that means that many people are looking for alternative ways of living, and joining cooperatives are a great option compared to the large multinational energy companies (which dominate the Spanish energy sector).
The cooperative invests in its own photovoltaic, wind, biomass, biogas, and hydroelectric projects. And the members (who pay a one-off €100 to join ) can then change their energy provider over to Som Energia, therefore receiving purely clean energy. Alternatively, each member can invest into projects directly (investors can get a return of between 3-5% annually and can take out their investment whenever they wish).
People who want to become a Som Energia member only have to fill in a form on the organization’s website (www.somenergia.com) and provide a €100 signup fee. Investing in the renewable projects isn’t obligatory, but welcome, and the cooperative has already received over €1,300,000 in investments from its members.
For anyone who’s curious to learn more, the site does have an English section.
Author Bio: Richard is a keen supporter of clean energy and sustainable building practices. He is senior advisor to Gestor Energetico, Spain’s leading online sustainable building training company.