How can clean and renewable energy remain in people's hands? Listen to energy experts and activists from all over Europe discussing energy efficiency, cooperatives, mobility, remunicipalisation and much more.
We often use the term "Commons" to explain, that we aim at transforming our societal organization. But which realistic concepts do we have at hand to regain the control over our energy system? We need to ask the question of ownership: Shall the energy system pass into public ownership? Shall we fight for it on all levels, at the municipal, regional and national level?
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.
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.
While countries all over the world review their nuclear energy plans and safety measures in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, the Indian government still pushes ahead with it's fiercely opposed Jaitapur plant.
Around a hundred thousand people perished in Chernobyl. The toll from the nuclear disaster in Fukushima is likely to be high. The CNDP demands a moratorium on all further civilian nuclear activities in India and thorough review and transparent audit of the safety performance of all nuclear reactors.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.