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Caspar’s Favourite Sustainability Initiative: Meewind

Every month, one of PRé’s people talks about his or her personal favourite sustainable initiative. This can be a product or a shop, a local initiative or a new website. This month, Caspar Honée will tell you a little about Meewind.

By Caspar Honée on July 06, 2015

 

Green energy is a hot topic nowadays. Here in the Netherlands, it has become fairly normal for households to demand green energy. And of course, our nation’s history is full of windmills. Following through, my favourite initiative has to do with windpower.

 

The Challenges Of  Wind Farms

It is quite windy where I live, so in theory it’s an ideal place to harvest wind energy and generate green electricity. But it is also pretty crowded here. Spaces to put the wind turbines are scarce and many people consider these modern windmills noisy and ugly. Establishing wind farms is complex, time consuming and capital-intensive, not to mention risky… Not something small groups of people can easily do.

 

At sea, the wind blows harder and more steadily. Offshore wind parks have less of a visual impact and the problem of noise is displaced far from people’s homes. One problem is that it is even harder to build windmills at sea than on land.

 

Meewind – Having The Wind At Your Back

My favourite sustainability initiative is Meewind. It offers individuals an easy way to participate in large-scale offshore wind projects by making a relatively small investment or by buying a relatively small share in the park.

 

In Dutch, "Meewind" means something like "riding a bike with wind at your back". In joining up thousands of people, significant sums are raised to generate gigawatt-hours of green electricity, every day, for many years to come. As we say in Holland: “The only thing that’s for free is the sunrise” – meaning that we also very much appreciate financial incentives. The Meewind initiative offers participants an eventual profit for their share in the turbines.    

 

The ecological effects of wind farms at sea are a subject of ongoing analysis. However, some studies show that they can have positive impact - the foundations offer a type of artificial reef where sea life can thrive. Since fishing is not allowed in these wind farm areas, they offer fish a small sanctuary. 

 

Transparency And Contribution

I think the Meewind platform is a nice way to contribute to making a renewable energy transition happen. I especially like that you can directly see where the money goes. When I ride my bike across the boulevard with the wind at my back, I can see the silhouettes of white turning blades in the distance and take pride that I co-own a small piece and contribute to these innovative projects. It feels a like having my own little green energy farm in my backyard.

 

What Can You Do?

I sincerely hope that more win-win-win initiatives like this one will pop up to reduce barriers to jointly make the renewable energy transition happen. If you want to join, please take a look at meewind.nl to learn more about the initiative and its benefits.

 

Next month, my colleague Paula Bernstein will tells us about her favourite sustainable initiative.

Contact the author

“Making sustainable development objectives operational is not necessarily a straightforward task.  Many factors are involved.  How, for instance, do we measure what is green and what is not? Life cycle assessment is a scientifically supported method to address such questions. IT works as an enabler, making it faster to do LCAs and provide value for your products and services. 

At PRé, I can contribute to IT solutions that provide structure and a pallet of sustainability performance indicators. My aim is to produce comprehensive tools that equip you to measure sustainability performance and make informed choices more easily. Our software is recognized as a world-class life cycle assessment solution. If you have any questions or remarks, don’t hesitate to drop me a line! Together we can make it even better.”

Contact Caspar Honée
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