Impact assessment of Spinderwind as part of BOM’s innovation ecosystem

Background

BOM (Brabantse Ontwikkelings Maatschappij) invests in a variety of ventures that contribute to the development of a future proof and sustainable Brabant economy by building bridges between entrepreneurs, knowledge institutes, and the authorities. Spinderwind BV is a part-citizen owned venture that generates wind energy in the southern region of the Netherlands and is one of BOM’s investments. BOM (Brabantse Ontwikkelings Maatschappij) invests in a variety of ventures that contribute to the development of a future proof and sustainable Brabant economy by building bridges between entrepreneurs, knowledge institutes, and the authorities. A pilot was done with the purpose of exploring the topic of impact measurement.  

Additional information on the organizations can be found here: BOM & Spinderwind

Value for BOM

The pilot consisted of an impact assessment of Spinderwind’s impact, as part of BOM’s impact investments and it provided BOM the following key insights:

  1. Through active knowledge sharing, BOM understood the process and methodology followed in an impact assessment;
  2. Top-down impact measurement was demonstrated as a scalable solution for measuring environmental impact, with little company data required;
  3. BOM participated actively in the scoping of the pilot, following steps that can be replicated in other projects;
  4. The pilot achieved robust results and a smooth process, especially on data collection, indicating organization-readiness by BOM for impact measurement. In addition, valuable insights regarding the energy transition were obtained. The full report can be found here.

How was impact measurement applied in practice?

As part of the pilot, several scoping decisions had to be made. The main stakeholders affected by Spinderwind were identified: beneficiaries of nature, the local community, cooperative members and “Spinderdeelhouders” (Spinderwind’s community shareholders) .  The value chain of Spinderwind was split into three distinct phases: upstream, own operations and downstream. The assessment included the entire lifecycle of the wind turbine (25 years). By choosing a marginal reference scenario, the difference made by Spinderwind became clearer. This reference scenario represented a situation in which Spinderwind is not operational and the energy supply is replaced by the Netherlands’ energy grid. The difference in emissions produced by Spinderwind and that of the reference scenario showed the limitation of environmental impact. Lastly, it was important to get insight into what part of the measured and valued impacts could be allocated to BOM itself, since BOM shares responsibility for the impact with other parties involved. The investment capital provided by BOM was used as an indication of their added value to the project, which resulted in BOM being allocated approximately 41% of Spinderwind’s impact.

Results showed that Spinderwind’s cooperative model can contribute to a fair energy transition that considers the needs of all stakeholders. Through community engagement and sharing the financial benefits with local communities, the possible negative social impacts of wind energy (e.g., decrease in house value) are balanced out.

For a detailed description of these steps, refer to the Impact Measurement in the Financial Sector document.

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