We don’t just talk about involving citizens in the clean energy transition: We do it. We offer different financial participation models that are tailored to local needs.
In France and Germany, ABO Wind offers local residents in the vicinity of our projects the opportunity to participate financially in our wind and solar projects via so-called crowdinvesting platforms. Under the right circumstances, if legally permissible, and if there is enough demand, we are happy to set up such investment opportunities in other countries as well.
ABO Wind works closely with local and regional energy cooperatives initiated by citizens. This strengthens local and regional acceptance of wind energy projects. For example, in 2016 we commissioned a new wind turbine (Nordex N131) which we had installed in close cooperation with the cooperative "SOLIX Energie". SOLIX now owns and operates the turbine which produces about seven million kilowatt hours per year.
ABO Wind has also built the first cooperative wind farm in the district of Fulda, Germany. It belongs to the energy cooperative Friedrich-Wilhelm Raiffeisen Energie Eichenzell eG and has been producing climate-friendly electricity since 2016.
As many as 1,800 citizens are involved in our Ahorn-Buch wind farm in Southern Germany, which was commissioned in 2017. A quarter of the wind farm belongs to the Energie + Umwelt cooperative and Bürgerwindpark Hohenlohe GmbH.
And in France we operate St. Hilaire wind farm together with the citizens’ association “Vents Citoyen”. The 11.4 megawatts wind farm was commissioned in early 2021.
For wind farm residents who neither want to join a cooperative nor want to buy shares, ABO Wind has already launched numerous investment options with annual interest payout. Issuer is usually the owner of the respective wind farm. ABO Wind has also issued profit participation rights in the past and has always paid any interests on time. We always work out individual investment options in cooperation with local banks.
ABO Wind set up eight closed-end funds, or citizen wind farms, in the first years of the company's history between 1997 and 2004. Some of the limited partners come from the regions in which the plants were planned and built.
Not all of these funds have fulfilled expectations. In some cases, the experts had overestimated the wind potential of the locations and the real yields fell short of the forecasts. In the early phase of wind power utilisation, the methods of the experts were not as reliable as they are today.
Because of the high entrepreneurial risk associated with the participation in a single wind farm, ABO Wind has not launched any more citizen wind funds in the recent past. As an alternative, we launched the so-called citizen wind share “ABO Invest” in 2009, which for the first time gave citizens the chance to invest in a portfolio of operational wind farms with a single share to minimise risks. In addition, shares are more tradable than limited partnership shares, so that investors can sell them at short notice if necessary. The two companies collaborated successfully for a good ten years. Today, the former ABO Invest AG operates under its new name "Clearvise AG" and maintains no more ties to ABO Wind.
In 2005, ABO Wind bundled three small biogas plants in Saxony-Anhalt (Germany) into a fund and raised the equity capital from investors. The plants in Kemberg, Kunrau and Miesterhorst each have an electrical output of a good 500 kilowatts.
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