Green electricity PLUS ENERBUILD

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Like the Ökostrombörse (green electricity stock exchange), the product Vorarlberger Ökostrom PLUS (green electricity-PLUS) is an output of the ENERBUILD project.

Short description

Vorarlberger Ökostrom PLUS (Green Electricity PLUS) is a product name for 100% regional green electricity from Vorarlberg and combines the Ökostrombörse and the VKW Ökostrom GmbH. The product was developed and brought to market within the ENERBUILD project. It consists of a green electricity product of VKW Ökostrom GmbH that was founded for this specific purpose, and the Öko Strombörse, an initiative of the Association of Renewable Energy Vorarlberg. The special characteristic of this common product is that the amount of electricity, consumed by the customer, is 100% green electricity from local green electricity power plants (small hydro- power plants, photovoltaic systems, bio- mass). The „PLUS“ is the funding product of Ökostrombörse. Detailed explanation as follows: Support by means of extra-payment that is invested in the power-plants which got selected by the customers.

About the product "Vorarlberger Ökostrum PLUS" (Green Electricity Plus)

The product „Vorarlberger Ökostrom PLUS” was developed by the Regional Development Vorarlberg with its member „ARGE Erneuerbare Energie”(a consortium of renewable energy) in cooperation with the electricity supplier VKW Ökostrom GmbH.

The product „Vorarlberger Ökostrom PLUS” is a symbiosis of 100% green electricity and a regional funding product for the expansion of local green energy production, especially for micro-systems. „Vorarlberger Ökostrom PLUS” provides green electricity consumers with 100% green electricity from the Vorarlberg. In addition, consumers also pay one additional cent per kWh of consumed electricity to the association „Öko Strombörse Vorarlberg”.The association invests the funds in construction and maintenance of operation of small municipal water- power plants and for green electricity green plants in Vorarlberg.Consumers have control over the use their „PLUS“ in a stock-exchange-like system. Via Internet customers can choose on their own, which project they wish to fund. In the „stock-exchange” the power-plants and projects are listed for choice. The better those plants are described, the higher the chances are of funding by the private sponsors. This concept is also supposed to emphasize and basically initiate the economic marketing of renewable energy.From a local politics-perspective, this tool makes an important contribution to a deeper understanding in dealing with the free market and the liberalization of the electricity market in favor of local products.The project ENERBUILD enabled the funding of the elaboration, adaptation and communication of the results to the public. Moreover, the concept was worked up, the funding guidelines, the drafting of contracts and also public relations could be made.

Development of historical background

Subsidy-and funding systems in Vorarlberg, Austria

In 2001, the Province of Vorarlberg adopted a regulation, which regulated the feeding- tariffs for green electricity from photovoltaic systems for the first time. The Province guarantees a feeding- tariff of € 0,7267 at an output power of 20 kW, of € 0,4731 at 20-60 kW and of € 0,33 kW for plants with an output power of over 50kWh. This regulation triggered a boom of photovoltaic systems. Consequently, the biggest share of photovoltaic systems in Vorarlberg was built between 2001 and 2005. The grant contracts have a maximum duration of 12 years and will expire in 2013. Note: For the time after 2013 preventive action must already be taken now.

Low returns lowers investment in green electricity

Since 2006, however, the feeding-tariffs-regulation has no longer been a matter of the Provinces, but now lies in the federal responsibility. The current rates for photovoltaic systems (2010) are about € 0,38 / kW for 5 kW to 20 kW, 0,33 kWh for over 20 kW, € 0,097 € for wind power and € 0,075 for small water power plants.This comparatively low return is below the EU average and has dramatically slowed down people’s motivation for investment. Another hurdle is the quota fixing. This results in the fact that applicants sometimes have to wait for two years for a subsidy commitment. This again keeps further investment down.

Solution: Development of Green Electricity Stock Exchange

To improve this situation, Austria has also opted for a subsidy to support small systems (up to 5 kW). This subsidy promotes the development of photovoltaic systems by means of a defined onetime investment. However, the subsidy is limited and covers the demand in no way.Because of the situation the provincial governments, municipalities and local energy suppliers try to get additional support for the development of green electricity by private investors.The Association of Renewable Energy has developed the model of the Green Electricity Stock Exchange as early as in 2002. The model allows individuals, municipalities and regions to support regionally active producers in producing green electricity by extra payments which are dependent on their consumption of electricity. Thus, at the local level, a market has been created which can enable the green electricity producers to generate additional revenues. The concept should help to boost people’s motivation for investment in green electricity power plants, mostly small plants on their own buildings. The former pilot project of 2005 already managed to convince some 400 private households of extra payments for the development of green electricity power-plants. However, there is no supply-guarantee for green power. The regional electricity supplier VKW (Vorarlberg power plants) took up the idea of the Green Energy Stock Exchange and supported it in its development by founding „Öko Strombörse”. During the ENERBUILD project the development and marketing of a 100%- local Green Electricity-product, called „Ökostrom PLUS“, took place. It is a product that consists of the electricity product and the funding product. In the following they are both presented in detail.

Green Electricity product by VKW Ökostrom GmbH

See article on VKW Ökostrom GmbH

Ökostrombörse Green Electricity Stock Exchange

See article on Ökostrombörse

Cooperation Contract

The cooperation contract is an agreement between the local power trader and the NGO „Öko Strombörse Vorarlberg” for a joint funding product called „Ökostrom PLUS. As this concept can theoretically be transferred to other regions, the Regional Development published this cooperation treaty as a good practice example.

It is unlikely that such a treaty can be adopted exactly as is it is, but it must rather be tailored to regional needs. Nevertheless, such an example can stimulate collaboration to content. The wording of the contract is in German and has not been translated. The contract defines the objectives of cooperation and the key messages that are to be conveyed by the common product. It also specifies the respective product and the mutual contract works relating the marketing of the product. If interest in the introduction of such a product exists, the „ARGE Erneuerbare Energie Vorarlberg” is always at disposition for further information.

To the Cooperation Contract


AEEV – ARGE Erneuerbare Energie Vorarlberg

Hof 19

A-6861 Alberschwende

VKW-Ökostrom GmbH (VKW-ÖKO)

Weidachstraße 6

6900 Bregenz

Verein Ökostrombörse Vorarlberg (ÖSB-V)

Hof 19

6861 Alberschwende


Green Electricity? - Yes, please! 100% local Green Electricity in combination with private funding for the development of power plants on buildings using the example of Vorarlberg (2011)