Valorem and the Crédit Coopératif offer the Arfons park residents wind farm savings
A new savings product exclusively dedicated to investment in a wind farm was created in Arfons, a small town on the border between Tarn and Aude. This experience was the fruit of a partnership between VALOREM and the Crédit Coopératif. It allowed the neighbors to subscribe to a fixed term account at the end of 2012, at an attractive rate in comparison to market conditions (5.25%).
This simplified saving formula generated mobilization, in the form of a simplified production channel – collection is geographically restricted: only the inhabitants of Tarn and Aude can invest -, in a proximity saving system dedicated to the financing of a locally identified project. This innovation was received with interest that augured well for its generalization to other parks or renewable energy projects.
The Arfons-Sor windfarm that was the experimental ground, has been in use since November 2009. For three years, the park’s 11 wind turbines have produced over 60,000 MWh per year, equal to the domestic consumption of a town like Carcassonne. They supply the community with the usual resources generated by a windfarm, as the community has supported and assisted their implantation. Henceforth the residents can also benefit from income generated by the wind farm through the associated savings account.
This new banking product was associated to a wind farm that was already in activity, in order to protect the clients from industrial risk. This innovative solution constitutes a new means of citizen participation in the financing of renewable energies.
But today, France is one of the European countries in which the regulatory constraints concerning savings is among the harshest in Europe. On the contrary, in Germany or Denmark, pioneer countries of wind farm development, the recourse to participative investment is extremely common or even compulsory. The need for an administrative simplification of citizen financing is one of the main conclusions of the national debate on energy transition. A legal survey is being carried out.