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The municipality of Emmen strives to be climate neutral in 2050. The energy transition is to be organized in a way it will benefit the local economic development. In this way the profits of sustainable energy projects are beneficial for the community of Emmen. In the Dutch context this entails that the residents, in the vicinity of initiatives concerning Solar and Wind energy, can organize to form an energy cooperation. The residents, then acquire collective ownership of a (part of a) Solar or Wind park which they will exploit together.

Councilmember Rene van der Weide: With the establishment of an energy cooperation we profit most of locally produced energy. A welcome development, not just because of importance to the sustainability of Emmen, but it will provide jobs as well and will help to reduce energy costs of our inhabitants.

The contribution of the municipality of Emmen to the COBEN-project, targets the following benefits for the community:

  • personal financial benefits for the members of the local energy cooperations;
  • Realising the possibility for households with little financial resources to join the sustainable energy projects;
  • Increase of the share of local produced sustainable energy in Emmen;
  • Generating financial resources for local energy cooperations, so neighbourhoods and communities can invest in the quality of their living environment, or the increase of their share in sustainable energy.
  • Increase of cooperation and social cohesion in neighbourhoods and communities.
  • Increase of the economical dynamics in neighbourhoods and communities.

Structural vision on Solar fields

In 2016 the municipality of Emmen divined its policy concerning large scale Solar fields. Solar fields can only be realized if there is proven public support of the surrounding inhabitants. The energy revenue of the Solar field will be beneficial, directly or indirectly (financial) to the surrounding inhabitants. These targets have been elaborated in regard to the COBEN-project.

The initiators of large scale Solar fields are obligated to offer a part of the project to the cooperations of surrounding inhabitants. The cooperations attain ownership of part of the project and its revenue. The municipality of Emmen supports surrounding inhabitants to organize themselves into cooperations to realize project development and helps them with the exploitation of the projects.

Service desk Lokaal Opgewekt Emmen

To provide guidance in the process of establishing local energy cooperations, the municipality of Emmen introduced the Service desk Lokaal Opgewekt Emmen. From this Service desk, information can be attained concerning participation options of sustainable energy for surrounding inhabitants of sustainable energy projects. Apart from that, the Service desk offers advice about organizational, legal, tax and corporate economic issues a local energy cooperation can encounter. Lastly the Service desk offers help to the local energy cooperations with communication and recruiting members for the cooperations.

Collective Development team

When a local energy cooperation is established, the development of a sustainable energy project must be enabled. This requires expertise in the field of finance, taxes, legislation, permits and energy technology. Also, knowledge of the energy market and experience with negotiations is needed. To prevent that groups of inhabitants have to hire advisers, COBEN started the Collective Development team. In this team the needed expertise is organized. The team is available to local energy cooperations without costs. This too means that the knowledge stays available to the commonality of Emmen. Besides this, the Collective Development team has the task to help setup a business case for local energy cooperations and develop models for financial participation of (groups) of surrounding inhabitants.

Regionalization of the energy market

By using COBEN to contribute to a well-functioning regional energy market, in which supply is adjusted to the demand of locally produced sustainable energy, the municipality of Emmen wants to optimize the revenue for the community. For a city this close to the border with Germany, it is quite practical to organize this together with the German city of Haren (Ems). This means that we would like to organize a joint venture with a accommodating energy company. This energy company has to distribute locally produced energy and return the revenue to the local energy cooperations. Together with the city of Haren (Ems), the city of Emmen wants to start a trial with smart energy meters for households so data of energy supply and demand can be easily exchanged across the border. COBEN will instigate research of the possibilities to organize the energy market regionally (cross-border)

Further information

For questions or further information, please contact Rik Zinnemers of the civil service of Emmen via (+31) 14 0591.


Melinda Loonstra-Buzogány
Gemeente Emmen
Adviseur / Policy Officer Gemeente Emmen
Bezoekadres Vreding 5
Postadres Postbus 30.001
7800 RA, Emmen

T +31(0)14 0591/ 0591 68 91 43
M +31(0)6 52 51 58 10