Local Energy Monitor Zuid-Holland: forerunner with 44 cooperations

"HIER opgewekt" compiled the Local Energy Monitor: a number of Zuid-Holland energy cooperations, realised projects and upcoming projects.

The province may rely on fulfilling a forerunner role in the cooperative movement, according to HIER opgewekt. Two of the very first citizen cooperations in The Netherlands, Windcoöperatie Delft and Deltawind, were founded almost 40 years ago in Zuid-Holland. Deltawind still exists and has grown into one of the main Dutch citizens’ cooperations. The first in The Netherlands with a soil-bound solar park and with its sister cooperation the initiator of the largest citizens’ initiative of The Netherlands: Windpark Krammer.

Energy cooperations are established in almost half of all municipalities in Zuid-Holland

In 2017, 44 energy cooperatives were active in Zuid-Holland, in almost half of the 60 municipalities there. In 2012, the collective sun rose in Zuid-Holland. It started with a large soil-bound Deltawind solar park on the Zuid-Holland islands, the first in The Netherlands. Developer Solar Green Point took the lead with cooperatively managed solar roofs, among which 2 together with the Hague citizens’ initiative VogelwijkEnergiek. At this moment, 33 projects have been realised.

Zuid-Holland is forerunner of The Netherlands in ‘cooperative wind’ with the Deltawind and Qurrent wind turbines on Goeree Overflakkee. Plans are available for other regions. The role of the municipalities is striking: they increasingly prove to be receptive to the idea of allowing residents more say. This is putting more wind under the cooperative model's wings.

Saving energy and attention paid to heat transition

In 2017, the attention to heat transition, the conversion from natural gas to other non-fossil heat provisions, increased strongly in The Netherlands. ‘Free from gas’ and ‘gas-free neighbourhoods’ are catchphrases. Citizens’ corporations, neighbourhood and district initiatives were actively involved in it. They organised energy saving activities for and by residents and went a step further by looking for alternative heat sources or collective heat provisions. The interest and involvement of the residents was key in these local heat initiatives. Meanwhile, the municipalities were working on a heat vision or heat transition plan, increasingly in regional context.

Cooperations add a social dimension to sustainable energy

Sustainable local generation and supply, in other words: closing the energy cycle, has been the objective of the energy cooperations from the very beginning. Almost every energy supplier offer Dutch wind and solar power now. The cooperations add a social dimension to this mix: local benefits from, for and by the community. That makes cooperations active in the energy market as well, they pool their purchasing strength, sell locally generated energy and are active as energy supplier themselves.