On 16 April 2016 Dutch sustainable startup “Vandebron” [“from the source”] launched “Local Solar Energy Cooperatives,” that allows consumers to share solar panel energy in their district. It is the first service worldwide to make sharing solar energy in this way possible. The service has already been initiated in The Netherlands in the districts of Eindhoven, Groningen, Nijmegen, Zwolle and Terschelling.
“Neighbour, I could use a few extra kilowatt hours”
Thanks to a solar energy cooperative it is possible to sell your yearly extra solar energy to other households. Do you happen to need energy? Through a solar energy cooperative you can buy solar energy locally and at a lower cost.
"Are an extra hour or two possible?"
In order to share self-generated solar energy without resorting to a go-between (like an energy company), last year “Vandebron” set up a national solar energy cooperative, which now also operates at district levels. The objective is a lower price for solar energy, and to further the development of solar panels throughout The Netherlands. Most households equipped with solar panels fail to produce sufficient extra energy in order to make it worthwhile to be connected to other households. But by regrouping rooftops in a district, enough extra energy can be stored for broader use.
Connecting Consumer and Producer
“Vandebron” is an online “market platform” which allows consumers to choose their source of energy. The customer knows where the electricity comes from. The fact that “Vandebron” does not make a profit on the sale of energy between producer and consumer, results in the customer having to pay slightly less, while the producer receives a bit more money for its sustainable energy. In the meantime, more than 100,000 Dutch households buy their energy from “Vandebron”.
“Vandebron” covers the costs required to manage the energy processes, customer services, attracting new producers, the upkeep and running of the online platform and administrative tasks through a standing charge irrespective of the usual rate charged by providers in The Netherlands.
“Vandebron” guarantees a purchase price of 10.5 cents per kWh. The kilowatt hours are settled on a yearly basis. Both consuming and producing households can register at: Vandebron.
See also our news bulletin on “Energy Cooperatives for residents."