Decentralised methods of producing and distributing energy can wrest control from the hands of monopolistic oil and gas firms, who have made record profits during the cost of living crisis, placing power into the hands of local communities.
What if, instead of putting the pressure on each person, we explored what communities can do together to get through this and be stronger in future crises?
From spiralling fossil fuel prices and volatile supply chains to the worsening climate crisis, there has never been a better time to stop heating homes with natural gas.
The following is excepted from To Catch the Sun: Inspiring Stories of Communities Coming Together to Harness Their Own Solar Energy, and How You Can Do It Too! by Lonny Grafman and Dr. Joshua M. Pearce.
Citizen-led retrofitting, long the poor relation of climate policy, could now be its secret weapon in accelerating rapid transition.
The slogan on the mural sums up the driving-force behind Reading Hydro perfectly: “This energy is by the people, for the people.” And the people are inspired to do more.
I get these crazy ideas sometimes. I thought doing a Solarize project (getting solar PV panels put on rooftops) would be a great project for Transition Town Media.
The rapid rise of community renewable energy and why the added benefits of local, clean power can help accelerate transition
Proponents of community energy, or energy cooperatives, envision a future in which small-scale renewable energy infrastructure is owned and used by local communities.
For the labor and climate justice movements to win anything close to a just recovery and a Green New Deal, we need to collectively stand up against market solutions and build on the diverse forms of energy democracy that are already being developed across Europe.
Because beyond whether we achieve everything in the vision for a Green New Deal or not, it is inspiring that young people do not view climate change as a pass/fail test. For them, failure is not an option. Instead, the question is: how transformative will our success be?
But if there’s a silver lining to the PG&E disaster, it’s that — in the midst of filing for bankruptcy — they’ve opened up the space for conversations about alternatives. And perhaps one of the most interesting of these conversations is based on the idea of transforming the utility into a network of cooperatives: utilities owned and managed by the ratepayers themselves.