Amsterdam Energy sells energy and also harvests it, with our solar panels on the roofs of Amsterdam. Shortly, hopefully, we can also produce energy with our own wind turbines.
Let us tell you about out projects.
Since 2016, we have produced five solar roofs. This way, we have given our members the opportunity to participate in the energy transition. Members could purchase solar panels on the roofs we developed, and could share in the profits.
Later this year, we hope to lay panels on two more roofs.
The Dutch government has changed the law that governs the financial arrangements for owners of solar panels. In the old situation, an owner of a solar panel on a participatory solar project, like ours are, received a tax deduction. This changed on April 1, 2021. Newly developed solar projects are eligible for a governmental subsidy to cover the costs of purchase and installing.
This change has lead to a restructuring of our solar projects. The general assembly of the co-operative Amsterdam Energie has decided, last June, to enter into a new co-operative: Onze Zon Amsterdam (‘Our Sun Amsterdam’). We are participating in Onze Zon Amsterdam together with our partner De Zonnefabriek (‘The Solar Factory’). De Zonnefabriek installs our solar roofs. As a new co-operative, Onze Zon Amsterdam will work with a different business model. We can offer participation in our solar projects at a lesser cost, at € 50,- per panel. This means that more people will be able to join. It also means that the profit per panel are lower.
What did not change are the rules for participating, which is restricted to people that live in the so called postcoderoos, the postal code circle. Our projects are both found in the western part of the city, at the Marcantilaan and the Gillis van Ledenberchstraat. Participants have to live in the area of town surrounding the roof. This is measured by the four digits of one’s postal code. A postal code consists of four digits, followed by two letters. The letters hold no relevance.
Our Marcantilaan project is available to people living in postal code areas 1051, 1052, 1055, 1056 or 1061. You can leave your details here, in case you are interested.
Our project at the Gillis van Ledenberchstraat is available to people living in postal code areas 1012, 1015, 1016, 1017, 1052, 1053 or 1054. You can show your interest here.
If the form in Dutch is a bit daunting, send us a message at email@example.com.
Amsterdam Energie has been involved with Amsterdam Wind for a couple of years now. Amsterdam Wind is a collective of four sustainable energy co-operatives. Three mainly have members in and around Amsterdam, the fourth is a national co-operative. The four co-operatives are collaborating to develop wind energy on Amsterdam soil, in and near the city. Amsterdam Wind collaborates with NDSM Energie, a co-operative of local businesses in and around the NDSM and Cornelis Douwesterrein industrial zones, in the Northwestern part of Amsterdam. Amsterdam Wind and NDSM Energie are equal partners.
Our shared objective is to build and exploit max five wind turbines in the Noorder IJplas area and the adjacent Cornelis Douwesterrein. We are pursuing this objective within the framework of national and local rulings on the development of sustainable energy projects by local co-operatives.
In 2021, this means that we are currently involved in an extensive program of participation with residents of the area and adjacent neighbourhoods.
At some point in the future, we plan to open up the opportunity to our members to participate financially in the building of the turbines. If and when we succeed, part of the proceeds will go to projects that benefit the local community.
Local wind politics
If you follow Amsterdam local politics at all, you may have noticed a large push-back from residents against the plans to build wind turbines at several locations in and around the city.
The wind projects are the result of larger political objectives. In 2019, the Dutch government launched het Klimaatakkoord, an agreement on climate measures between many national organisations representing the government, business, labour and environmental groups. One of the concrete plans to be implemented as soon as possible, was the RES, the Regionale Energie Strategie (‘Regional Energy Strategy’). The country was divided in 30 regions, that each had to come up with a regional strategy to switch to sustainable energy sources by 2030 and subsequently by 2040. Each municipality had to put in a ‘bid’ with detailed plans, no later than at the end of 2021.
Amsterdam published its plan in the autumn of 2020. Part of the Amsterdam bid was the ambition to erect 17 wind turbines in and around the city. Seven areas were singled out for further research, to see if they could become possible locations for turbines. This raised the heckles of many residents, who took to the streets to protest.
Politically, the Amsterdam bid to the RES was accepted by the city council, provided a period of ‘reflection’ was built into the plans for the development of wind energy. More study was needed as to the side-effects of wind turbines on public health, the councillors agreed.
What does this mean for us?
The area of Noorder IJplas and Cornelis Douwesterrein was also mentioned in the Amsterdam bid. This area differs from the others in that, already in 2012, it was formally designated a possible location for wind turbines. At the time, NDSM Energie and the residents’ group Onze Amsterdam Noord Energie, one of the current co-operatives active in Amsterdam Wind, already developed ideas for wind energy at that location. The city went along, but the province (Noord-Holland) refused to give the go-ahead. The province blocked development until 2019, when a new political coalition took over.