Consumer (Co-)Ownership in Renewables in Denmark
The Electricity Reform–Agreement of 1999 between the Government and a broad majority in Parliament restructuring the electricity market stated that in the grid companies, directly or indirectly, elected consumer representatives must have a controlling influence. The energy policy agreement 2008-2012 included in the new Act on Renewable Energy further supported the consumer (co-)ownership in onshore wind turbines with the right to local ownership of 20 per cent for land turbines now also applying for large-scale solar PV for 2018 and 2019. Furthermore, consumer (co-)ownership received explicit recognition of its crucial role in the 2018 recast of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) as part of the Clean Energy Package. There is a long historic tradition for cooperative ownership in the Danish energy sector. Electricity and district heating companies were founded by municipalities in the larger cities and by consumer cooperatives outside the large cities, and small wind turbines are often owned by cooperatives or individuals. Today, cooperatives and municipalities own DSOs and district heating companies. Furthermore, individual farmers and cooperatives of farmers installed biogas plants, while almost 100,000 solar PV systems have been installed primarily on individual houses over the past five years. The Danish Energy Association estimates that in 2017, among the 2.7 million households, about 60,000 heat pumps and about 100,000 wood pellet heaters are in use.
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