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Clean energy for EU islands
27 May 2020

Community wind turbines in Aero, Denmark

Ærø is one of the Danish Baltic Sea islands. In 1981 the  island’s community established the Ærø Energy and  Environment Office, which took the role of a local  intermediary in the process of developing a community- owned wind farm. Only inhabitants or companies on the island can buy shares. A bidding process ensured an  inclusive character, selling to those inhabitants who  wanted to buy a small number of shares before opening to those who wanted to invest a larger amount of money. Local banks contributed to this inclusive approach by  providing bank loans to citizens. 

The 6 wind turbines on Ærø are owned by 650 local shareholders (more than 10% of the inhabitants  on the island) and a local fund, which invests part of its returns into local community projects. The wind power project paved the way for a number of other renewable energy projects on the island, including three solar district heating plants and the world’s first all electric ferry project of its size.  Today, over 55% of the island‘s total energy comes from wind, solar, and biomass, and Ærø aims  to run 100% on renewables by 2025. 

Island Specifics

AREA: 88 km2

NO. OF CONSUMERS: 6,050 regular inhabitants (170,000 tourists per year)

GRID: connected to the islands of  Als and Langeland

PROJECT: community-owned wind farms (Vind 1, 2 and 4)


FUNDS: Private (community members and private investors)

Project Specifics

  • Preparation of project documentation
  • Licensing
  • External experts on the development of the project
  • Building the wind turbines


More information on the project