A measure promoting local co-benefits of renewable energy
The Tula Municipality (Sardegna Region, Italy) hosts the biggest wind farm owned by ENEL Greenpower, located on a hillside 700m above sea-level. The farm, called Sa Turrina Manna, began construction in 2003 and finished in 2009.
When an extension of the wind farm was announced, citizens and the community called for a more equal distribution of financial benefits of the farm. Through a participatory and constructive approach, the developer, the local authority, Legambiente (a National Environmental NGO) and the local community came together and successfully overcame the barriers at hand. These namely came through contributions by the developer to the municipal budget (2% of the gross income achieved each year would be given to the municipality, accounting for approx. 12% of the local municipalities budget), as well as listening to and acting upon the environmental and landscape concerns of the local population. The allocation of the budget was done in a highly participatory way and the increased revenue meant that local residents had to pay lower proportions of local council tax.
Minimal resources (i.e., staff to manage the engagement and negotiation process) in respect to the considered investment costs and revenues per year
Evidence of success
2% of annual gross revenue per kWh produced and fed to the network is given to the municipality, which resulted in a contribution of 400,000 EUR per year.
This resulted in a tax reduction for 1600 households (no rise in the garbage tax paid for many years; municipal part of the Personal Income Tax (IRPEF) eliminated; municipal real estate tax (IMU) eliminated for main dwellings) and more than 20 types of local social interventions.
The feasibility of this experience lied in the availability, above all, of the responsible parties (Region, Municipalities, wind farm developer) to open a common path without prejudice to other positions. This process took some time to develop.
Potential for learning or transfer
It is certainly financially feasible for other wind energy developers to also allocate a small share of the income to the local municipality which their installations affect.
This is one of the good practices identified by the H2020 WinWind project.
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