TNI is hosting with Platform London a 6-week pilot online peer learning course on energy democracy. The course will include lectures by experts and practitioners along with discussion and active participation, sharing and learning by all participants. It is intended for people who have some experience in working on energy systems, who wish to take a holistic and global look at energy systems and politics, and learn from others. Deadline has passed (3 October), but feel free to register to be on waiting list or for the next course.
Small farmers are being driven off their land in Maharashtra to make way for the Indian government's planned "nuclear park" - to be built by the French company AREVA. Yet, nuclear energy is notoriously slow, costly, inefficient and dangerous to develop, as demonstrated by a global decline in nuclear power that contradicts recent government enthusiasm.
In 2012, citizens from Highland Park, Michigan came together to form Soulardarity in response to the repossession of over 1,000 streetlights from their city. Their goal is to organise for community-owned solar street lights, energy production and equitable development. Since its formation, Soulardarity has installed seven solar streetlights and deployed over US$ 30,000 worth of solar technology in Highland Park and the surrounding communities through the PowerUP bulk purchasing programme. The group has also organised advocacy at the city and state levels for regulation, policy and local political leadership to support community ownership, transparency and environmental responsibility.
Soulardarity also advocates for a Community Ownership Power Administration (COPA) as part of the growing call in the United States for a Green New Deal to tackle climate change, economic inequality and racial injustice.
Global finance is only one facet of multiple crises facing human civilization - crises over food, water, climate, energy as well as the global economy urgently need to be addressed. So far, neoliberal responses of governments have been to tackle finance alone - by replacing a banker or by pumping money into the system. But it is the system itself - that is in crisis.
In this special edition of Globalizations, François Houtart outlines the interlinked but different elements of the multiple crises we face, and makes radical suggestions for moving beyond the current state of affairs - through addressing all together.
The GoiEner Cooperative was founded in 2012 in the Basque Country as a response to both the energy oligopoly and the rise of the anti-austerity movement connected to the economic crisis. Over the past six years, this cooperative for renewable energy generation and consumption has grown to include nearly 9,000 members, and has become an inspiring model for the transition to a new energy model.
Key attributes of GoiEner's approach include the alleviation of energy poverty, democratic and participatory involvement, and equal representation of men and women. GoiEner also supports the creation of new renewables cooperatives in other regions of Spain in order to increase local, democratic and renewable energy resilience.
Prime Minister Modi's government has frozen the bank accounts of Greenpeace India, part of a wider campaign against 'anti-national' movements that challenge India's development policies based on the aggressive exploitation of coal, minerals, big hydro and nuclear power.
President Obama’s decision comes despite the fact that US government and independent models predict an 80% chance Polar Bears will become mostly extinct by 2050, with total extinction this century without cuts in emissions.
Residents of the Dutch city of Groningen, where gas is being extracted by the Dutch Petroleum Company (NAM), have lost confidence in the company, and in the regulations intended to protect them. Social movements, civil society organisations and local political parties gathered and discussed the dismantling of the NAM and the need to democratise the energy sector.
In May 2015, the party Por Cádiz Sí Se Puede (the local version of Podemos) took over the government of Cádiz, inheriting a situation of massive debt, widespread energy waste, severe unemployment, energy poverty, and a lack of public awareness around energy issues. In just a few years, however, Cádiz has celebrated a number of concrete results.
The Mayapuri cobalt-60 episode shows Delhi University scientists were reprehensible and proves again that the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board is too inept, unreliable and compromised to perform its assigned functions. We need another agency.
When citizens are left out of debates confined to government and the business community, the only means of influencing policy is to petition, protest, or litigate, usually after the horse has bolted. Will fracking be the latest technology introduced without any public debate?
World leaders are at the UN Climate Talks (COP22) this week. Developing real solutions to climate and energy challenges will require imagination, determination and inspiration. Inspiration may come from the many cities, communities and even countries that are working hard to make the energy sector democratic, equitable and based on renewable sources.
Have our rulers decided to place India on the wrong side of history and arrest her social progress? Going by their policy of forcibly promoting nuclear power regardless of its hazards, environmental damage potential, high economic and social costs, and unpopularity, that seems to be the case.
The Japanese crisis is a wake up call for India, which is currently building of one of the world's largest nuclear power plants at Jaitapur, despite massive popular protest. When such a disaster can occur in an industrially advanced country like Japan, India, whose atomic agency is notorious for its poor safety standards, needs to rethink its nuclear ambitions.
There are 20 nuclear power plants in India, two in Pakistan and plans exist to expand the industry across South Asia; yet there are always multiple risks that exist as a result of the technology that cannot be mitigated.