Implementing wind farms entails higher incomes for rural areas and municipalities. It also generally implies the creation of jobs, particularly in the rural world.
On the one hand, developers make industrial investments for the production of wind farm components. Additional investments are made to develop wind farms. All the wind farms are sources of new income that have socioeconomic effects through the commercial relations established among agents comprising the economic, social and institutional fabric of the territories.
This section also identifies economic initiatives developed by rural agents with the income generated by wind energy. Among these good practices are examples of the implementation of initiatives to exploit endogenous resources, generate collective services for the local population and improve the quality of life, etc.
Please do not hesitate to contact GWO If you know of any such example in this line developed by promoter companies, mountain owners or a municipality.
Wind energy and good practices: The initiative of the Muras municipality supporting the cost of the electricity bill
Organization promoting the initiative: City Council of Muras
Location: Muras (Lugo)
Link to wind energy: This County, with excellent conditions for wind power, has a total of 381 operating turbines in 2019. It is the Galician municipality with the highest wind intensification.
Characterization of the initiative: The City Council of Muras has a large implementation of wind energy in its municipal area. As a result of this great number of wind farms and wind turbines, the local Government decided to develop an initiative in 2016 that favored a social return from this energy activity. Consequently, this municipality has developed an interesting and novel measure consisting in supporting family payment of electricity costs, through a subsidy with a maximum limit of 500€ granted every year according to family income. This measure contributes to the fight against energy poverty and enables a social return within a rural context in which families have low incomes and an aging population. 175 of Muras’ current 220 family units have requested help to pay their energy bill. No doubt, this measure is highly accepted throughout the municipality.
Wind energy and good practices: The case of CMVMC of Zobra
Organization promoting the initiative: Communal forest of Zobra
Location: Zobra (Lalín)
Link to wind energy: Part of the wind farm of Ameixeiras-Testeiros is located in the parish of Zobra. The income generated by the occupation of land was crucial to the ongoing initiative.
Characterization of the initiative:
The CMVMC of Zobra is a dynamic agent in its local environment that develops different activities focusing on improving the population’s quality of life and generating economic activity within this beautiful Natura 2000 Network area. The Community has opened an office as its project development center and as a point of support for local citizens. However, they provide nonexistent services in many Galician rural communities. One of the paradigmatic examples is the water supply. The CMVMC of Zobra carried supplied water using the community’s own work, buying the plumbing pipes, and doing everything themselves.
One of the most unique initiatives of the CMVMC in Zobra consisted in the rehabilitation of the “houses of the mines" to allocate them to rural tourism. These houses, managed directly by the Community for several years, were buildings destined to mine workers in the exploitation of tin in the area in the 1920s, 30s and 40s. The rehabilitation of these houses and the hiking route has boosted tourism throughout the parish.
Another of the outstanding achievements of Zobra is livestock farming, with the presence of a beekeeping activity. The mountains make this area hugely apt for beekeeping. The existence of several registered bottlers in “Mel de Galicia” located in the Zobra area clearly evidences the importance of the beekeeping activity in this area.