Greenpeace Energy

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Greenpeace Energy
IndustryElectric power
Revenue€5 million
395 GWh
Number of employees

Greenpeace Energy is a German electric utility in the form of a registered association. The stated goal of the cooperative is the provision of environmentally friendly energy to the electrical grid.

As a founding member of the association, Greenpeace e.V. holds only five shares at €55 in the cooperative, otherwise the environmental group and the company are financially and legally independent, although they share the same office building in Hamburg.[1] The name use is linked contract with the condition that Greenpeace Energy fulfils the conditions laid down by the Greenpeace e.V. quality criteria for "clean energy".


In 1998, Greenpeace started a renewable energy initiative called "power shift". There, consumers could choose to switch to a green electricity provider. As more and more consumers agreed to switch to an environmentally friendly provider, Greenpeace found no electricity provider that met all the criteria for environmental sustainability, and supply the increasing demand for sustainable energy. As a solution, Greenpeace Energy was founded in 1999, as an electricity provider that produces a large part of its electricity from renewable sources. The areas of network management and energy billing are not adopted by Greenpeace Energy itself but by its affiliate company, Stadtwerke Schwäbisch Hall, as a service provider.

The Cooperative[edit]

Greenpeace Energy chose to establish itself in the legal form of a registered cooperative (eG). The motivation for this decision was that it allows Greenpeace Energy to be independent of banks and major shareholders and build equity on a wide base of shareholders to offer as well as favorable current. Therefore, at present no returns will be distributed to the shareholders (as of 2011).

Membership in the cooperative is formally dependent on the current reference - according to the statute, can be excluded a cooperative member who "does not cover its demand for electrical energy supplies through the Cooperative". This right part of the cooperative is expressly not perceived, what results are based on the fact that some members of the cooperative power of Greenpeace Energy can not relate. A cooperative member has at least one, and can hold a maximum of one hundred shares of €55. As usual with cooperatives, each member has regardless of the number of shares only one vote at the General Meeting. In this way, a takeover, or any interference is excluded by large investors. By his own admission, the cooperative explicitly does not pursue the goal of maximizing profits.

From the border of 1,500 members occurs a representative assembly in place of the General Assembly. Fifty elected representatives of the members then represent the rights of the members. Since Greenpeace Energy has significantly more members every four years, representatives are elected (the last election was 2009). The selection of representatives is made by a selection committee. The tasks of Representatives correspond according to cooperative law duties of the General Assembly: members can vote on motions, select the Supervisory Board and the Management Board or released and vote on their workload, and decide on the distribution of any surplus.

Greenpeace criteria for clean energy[edit]

Greenpeace Energy works on the basis of the "Greenpeace criteria for clean energy." The determination of these criteria was carried out by the Greenpeace e. V., an adaptation to the market conditions was last held in January 2008.

Fossil gas[edit]

Since 2011 Greenpeace Energy sells ProWindGas product which initially was 100% imported fossil gas and the company promised gradual increase in share of hydrogen generated from renewable energy.[2] As of 2020 the share of hydrogen oscillated below 1%.[3] Sales of 99% fossil gas presented as “eco-gas” has been criticized as misleading,[4][5] "contradictory"[6] and "greenwashing" of Russian gas.[7] In 2015 Greenpeace Energy also attempted to sue European Commission from approving state aid for the nuclear power plant Hinkley Point C. European Court of Justice eventually denied Greenpeace Energy request as unsubstantiated.[8][9] In 2021 the company added further 10% of biogas, resulting in a mix of 1% hydrogen, 10% biogas and 89% of fossil gas and declared it plans to replace all fossil gas by 2027.[10]

Greenpeace Energy’s initial aim with its gas product was to promote the hydrogen technology as an indispensable element of the energy transition and a means to advance sector coupling in order to decarbonize sectors of economy where this cannot be achieved with renewable electricity directly. Meanwhile, green hydrogen has been widely recognized as highly relevant for a successful energy transition by (e.g,) the EU-Commission, national governments and important industries. The cooperative’s own feed-in of renewable hydrogen began in 2014 and as of 2021, five electrolyzers are producing green hydrogen for Greenpeace Energy customers. Two of them are operated by Greenpeace Energy itself. However, despite increasing the volume of fed-in hydrogen, the proportion of windgas in the gas mix in 2020 remained around one percent because the increase in production was offset by the increase in the number of customers.[11]

In the meantime, Greenpeace Energy’s gas product has the additional aim to accelerate the development of high quality biogas that is produced sustainably and without animal suffering. In order to be able to reduce the share of natural gas in proWindgas to zero by 2027, from 2021 on Greenpeace Energy is adding an additional 10% of biogas that meets strict quality criteria to its gas mix. As published by Greenpeace Energy in November 2020, the share of renewable gases is supposed to increase to 100% until 2027.[12]

According to Greenpeace Energy[13] the natural gas in its mix is composed as reflected by the import data for Germany provided by the Federal Network Authority (Bundesnetzagentur).[14]


  1. ^ "About Greenpeace Energy". Listen Notes (in German). Retrieved 2021-02-26.
  2. ^ "WINDGAS - What It Is and Why It's Important" (PDF).
  3. ^ "Unser Windgas im Detail". (in German). Retrieved 2021-02-10.
  4. ^ "This is how Greenpeace Energy works, the renewables cooperative in Germany that also sells natural gas". Archived from the original on 2021-02-23.
  5. ^ "Así funciona Greenpeace Energy, la cooperativa de renovables en Alemania que también vende gas natural". 2021-02-09. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
  6. ^ asix750. "This is how Greenpeace Energy works, the renewables cooperative in Germany that also sells natural gas". Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  7. ^ "Greenwashing Russian Gas? WTF is Pro Wind Gas Vegan Plus? Feat: Simon Wakter". Listen Notes. Retrieved 2021-02-26.
  8. ^ "Case C-640/16 P, Greenpeace Energy v Commission, Judgment of 10 October 2017, ECLI:EU:C:2017:752 | ClientEarth". Retrieved 2021-02-17.
  9. ^ "Zehn Unternehmen verklagen EU-Kommission wegen Beihilfen für Hinkley Point C". (in German). Retrieved 2021-03-18.
  10. ^ "Greenpeace Energy will ökologisch hochwertiges Biogas voranbringen". (in German). Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  11. ^ "Unser Ziel: Erdgas so schnell wie möglich überflüssig zu machen". (in German). Retrieved 2021-02-26.
  12. ^ "Greenpeace Energy will ökologisch hochwertiges Biogas voranbringen". (in German). Retrieved 2021-02-26.
  13. ^ "Herkunft des Gases". (in German). Retrieved 2021-02-26.
  14. ^ "Verbraucher-Kennzahlen zum Monitoringbericht 2020". Bundesnetzagentur.