Gijsbert Huijink, Girona – Spain, 41 years old, Associate Professor of Environmental Economics at UdG.
Two years ago I installed PV solar panels on my house. We live in a rural area and there was no 'normal' connection available. This is how I got interested in renewable energy. Shortly later we did get a connection to the grid and started ourselves to inject electricity into the grid. And I discovered how simple it is to be a electricity producer.
The next step would be setting up a wind turbine, I thought. As wind energy is one of the best developed and cheapest of the renewable energies. But setting up a small one did not make economic sense and for setting up a big one you need lots of money. So I realized I couldn't do this alone.
I am from The Netherlands and in general in the Nordic countries there is a long tradition of cooperative renewable energy development. So I started looking for a cooperative in Catalonia or Spain where I could be a member of and invest some money in. I simply wanted to do something to make sure that the next generations all around the world can live in a world with a similar or better quality of life as we have today.
To my surprise I did not find any cooperative in Spain. That's when I decided to start setting up one. I studied what had happened in other countries, the different cooperative business models, development paths etc.
Slowly other people got involved and finally we are now 'launching' our initiative in the market. For 10/10/10 we are looking for at least 350 people who want to become member of the first renewable energy production and consumption cooperative in Catalonia and Spain. To become a member you just have to sign in on our web and commit to participate in our social capital with 100 Euro.
With the new members we plan to officially set up the cooperative in the second half of November. From September 2011 we plan to be able to start selling 100% renewable energy to our members.