Conference programme

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Delegates are invited to meet and discuss with the poster presenters during the poster presentation sessions between 10:30-11:30 and 16:00-17:00 on Thursday, 19 November 2015.

Lead Session Chair:
Stephan Barth, ForWind - Center for Wind Energy Research, Germany
Suzanne Keignaert APERe, Belgium
Suzanne Keignaert (1) F
(1) APERe, Bruxelles, Belgium

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Presenter's biography

Biographies are supplied directly by presenters at EWEA 2015 and are published here unedited

Suzanne Keignaert – MA in Environmental politics and MA in Environmental management

Since 2013 Suzanne is Wind Energy Facilitator for the Walloon Region. The mission consists in giving technical, legal and financial guidance both to municipalities and citizen cooperatives in order to structure their involvement within a wind farm project.

She's also active on the WISE Power IEE project, as WP leader : Responsible for drafting and editing a report on innovative financing models for wind farms, with a view to identifying promising measures and solutions for alternative financing.


Poster Download poster (7.87 MB)


Wise Power: Another way to finance wind projects


Nowadays, the implementation of wind projects takes increasingly innovative forms. The classic model based on the predominance of one developer is becoming obsolete. According to the research led by the WISE Power Project about alternative financing, a partnership turns out to be most commonly used. Used to finance, build or operate projects, the partnership involves a private developer with a citizens’ cooperative and/or a public entity who commit funds to own a part of a wind farm.


This partnership is set up to expand the panel of investors and to increase social acceptance. It supports the bankability of the project and social benefits. Developers have everything to gain from this innovative financial arrangement. Indeed, it appears that social acceptance is a key factor for the implementation of a new wind farm.

The increase of social acceptance is primarily due to the opening of the project to citizens' cooperatives. This new form of citizenship directly affects local residents by involving them in the project. Cooperatives are built on an equity-based crowdfunding: this funding mechanism enables to become a shareholder of the company or organisation developing the project. This type of crowdfunding has a positive impact on social acceptance through the involvement of a large number of people.

Main body of abstract

Cooperative bankruptcy is rarely reported. Nevertheless, cooperatives do not always reach their financial goals. Crowdfunding can fail to get enough money to be involved in a wind project. In this case, the cooperative has to find another solution. They can subscribe to an underwriter fund that guarantees to reach the targeted amount of money by providing the missing part. The money can be provided by richer cooperatives that compensate the lack of liquidity. This distribution of excessive treasury offers a real solution to cooperatives. The cash pool system constitutes another innovation in alternative financing mechanisms. This cash management technique is employed to compensate credit and debit positions of various entities. The main advantage of cash pooling is to avoid the need to borrow money on the market for entities with a debit position.


Thanks to these mechanisms, the cooperatives become financially strong and can negotiate with private developers. They are more involved in projects, include a higher involvement of citizens, and become a key player. The transfer of the model at European level is now well under way.

Learning objectives
This innovative approach brings a real added value to the sector. The developers will collaborate with stronger players for the building of partnerships. Consequently, the barriers to wind turbines installation will be reduced, allowing the industry to grow thanks to increased social acceptance.