Ærø is one of the Danish Baltic Sea islands. In 1981 the island’s community established the Ærø Energy and Environment Office, which took the role of a local intermediary in the process of developing a community- owned wind farm. Only inhabitants or companies on the island can buy shares. A bidding process ensured an inclusive character, selling to those inhabitants who wanted to buy a small number of shares before opening to those who wanted to invest a larger amount of money. Local banks contributed to this inclusive approach by providing bank loans to citizens.
The 6 wind turbines on Ærø are owned by 650 local shareholders (more than 10% of the inhabitants on the island) and a local fund, which invests part of its returns into local community projects. The wind power project paved the way for a number of other renewable energy projects on the island, including three solar district heating plants and the world’s first all electric ferry project of its size. Today, over 55% of the island‘s total energy comes from wind, solar, and biomass, and Ærø aims to run 100% on renewables by 2025.
AREA: 88 km2
NO. OF CONSUMERS: 6,050 regular inhabitants (170,000 tourists per year)
GRID: connected to the islands of Als and Langeland
PROJECT: community-owned wind farms (Vind 1, 2 and 4)
TOTAL INVESTMENT: 15,000,000 EUR
FUNDS: Private (community members and private investors)
- Preparation of project documentation
- External experts on the development of the project
- Building the wind turbines