Monday, February 24, 2014

German couple wants to buy electrical network of Berlin

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"If we are going to make a difference, so our only option is to buy the entire electricity grid of Berlin". It was this conclusion reached a young couple of Germans â€" Arwen Colell and Luise Neumann-Cosel-with a passion for adoption of sustainable energy sources.

All this couple needs are €400 million â€" corresponding to 40% of the capital requirement the estimated value of the network, about $ 1000 million. To this end, the couple created a cooperative â€" Bürger Energie Berlin-, open to all who wish to participate in the project. Every investor has the right to one vote, regardless of the value that invista. Profits are then distributed according to the amount invested in the project. "The aim is to attract as many people as possible who wish to have a say in the way that the power supply is managed," says Colell in the Guardian.

The energy network of Berlin is sold through tender every 15, 20 years and anyone can buy the network and manage it. The Government of Angela Merkel has already spent millions on "Energiewende" (energy transition) and the program is being implemented very slowly. Many argue that the program has been a disaster: energy prices have increased dramatically, energy poverty has increased and subsidies have resulted in one of the biggest transfers of wealth from the poor to the rich-taxpayers with fewer resources financed subsidies for the program after transiting to the shareholders of the power companies and the owners of the land where are installed the solar panels and wind farms. Faced with these management problems, this couple wants to improve the efficiency of the electricity grid of the German capital and implement alternate forms of energy.

The first challenge of the cooperative was being taken seriously. The first year of the project was passed to manage local policies and establish partnerships. "This is putting the knowledge and financial power of many. We need partnerships with energy management firms, a strong network of financial partners and community involvement, "explains Colell.

This first hurdle was crossed successfully. Efficient communication campaigns and simple and the presence established in the debate of energy management makes it difficult for politicians and sector operators ignore them.  Currently, it is possible to see, through their website, the amount of partnerships established by the cooperative. The next step is to present the technical and financial details for the management of the network and be able to find entities that finance the project.

Foto: tsaarni/Creative Commons

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