Case Study from Germany: Cost and financing aspects of community renewable energy projects.

This Case Study report presents the results of data collection and analysis on community and commercial wind and solar PV installations in Germany. It has been based on information available as at the end of May 2015 and does not refer to any policy changes that may occur after this date.

Whereas other countries have explicit policy support for community organisations, in Germany there is no explicit policy support (e.g. generous fiscal incentives) apart from at the regional level where there is regional political support in finding and providing suitable roofs for solar roof mounted solar installations. This is evidence that the community renewable sector is often competitive with commercial developers, and testimony to the maturity of the community renewable energy sector.

One reason why community projects are successful in German is because other countries define community projects as giving direct benefit to local communities, e.g. by supporting households improve their energy efficiency of their properties or supporting local charities. However, in Germany community investors are often different, commonly a group of farmers or community members but rather than the profits being used for community benefit activities, the profits are given to the investors. It is for this reason that community renewable energy projects pay German corporation and trade tax.

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