WindMade seeks funding from EU and non-profit foundations

WORLDWIDE: WindMade, the Vestas and GWEC-backed consumer standard designed to show products have been made using wind energy, is to change its funding model due to lack of support from the wind industry.

WindMade's criteria is based around companies and organisations that sign up to the standard sourcing at least 25% of their electricity consumption through wind energy. However, the funding for the organisation itself was to come from wind turbine manufacturers.

As a result, the organsation behind said it will shortly be announcing new funding from governments, the EU and "philanthropic foundations". Speaking about the lack of interest from the industry, a WindMade spokesman said: "It is clear it's not a good time to ask for this".

The funding will go towards creating a new, overarching "renewable-made" standard that will include other forms of electricity production such as solar and geothermal.

The biggest backer of the WindMade programme has been Vestas, which kickstarted the standard with a EUR 1 million gift in January 2011. However, since the Danish company remains the only manufacturer to have backed the scheme and is no longer providing the same scale of funding.

A Vestas spokesman said: "Vestas does not provide direct funding to WindMade, but has in recent years donated a certain amount to express our appreciation for each participant in our annual customer and stakeholder surveys. Survey respondents are informed up front that Vestas will make these donations. In 2011 and 2012, Vestas donated a total of EUR 37,000 to WindMade."

Late last year, WindMade admitted there was a danger the funding for the standard could run out by Q3.

At the same time, WindMade announced it has brought on board the UN-backed think tank REN21. WindMade said REN21 would contribute to the development of a "new overarching renewable energy consumer label".

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