Tag Archives: energy

Utility 3.0: How to Democratize Energy in the U.S.

Utility 3.0: How to Democratize Energy in the U.S.
A new model of energy is being developed — democratized energy. By relocating control and ownership from the utilities to their customers, John Farrell of the Institute for Self-Reliance, argues: Utility 3.0 allows communities to take advantage of the economic as well as the environmental benefits of the shift to clean energy. The five pillars of energy democracy are it is flexible, efficient, low-carbon, local and equitable.  Farrell ... Read more

Could Global Tide Be Starting To Turn Against Fossil Fuels?

Could Global Tide Be Starting  To Turn Against Fossil Fuels?
From an oil chill in the financial world to the recent U.S.-China agreement on climate change, recent developments are raising a question that might once have been considered unthinkable: Could this be the beginning of a long, steady decline for the oil and coal industries? Alarm bells are ringing for the masters of the financial universe, too. The governor of the Bank of England, Canadian banker Mark Carney, warned repeatedly during 2014 ... Read more

Electricity’s Un-Natural Monopoly

Electricity’s Un-Natural Monopoly
The 21st century electricity system is radically different. The scale of electricity generation is rapidly shrinking, from coal and nuclear power plants that can power a million homes to solar and wind power plants that power a few to a few hundred nearby homes. Electricity demand has leveled off, so that every unit of new wind and solar power produced for the grid displaces a unit of fossil fuel energy. Batteries and electric vehicles ... Read more

How Solar Power Could Slay The Fossil Fuel Empire By 2030

How Solar Power Could Slay The Fossil Fuel Empire By 2030
​Above: Abengoa Solar’s Solnova Solar Power Station ​In just 15 years, the world as we know it will have transformed forever. The ​age of oil, gas, coal and nuclear will be over. A new age of clean power and smarter cars will fundamentally, totally, and permanently disrupt the existing fossil fuel-dependent industrial infrastructure in a way that even the most starry-eyed proponents of ‘green energy’ could never have imagined.  We are ... Read more

Local Ownership Of Solar Creates Jobs, Builds Community Wealth

Local Ownership Of Solar Creates Jobs, Builds Community Wealth
Above: Workers with San Francisco-based Everybody Solar install a photovoltaic system. Photo by Everybody Solar / Flickr. Locally owned renewable energy projects create more economic benefits than absentee-owned projects, and they are less likely to encounter community opposition. By enacting policies to support local renewables, Farrell argues, states and counties stand to gain thousands of jobs and millions of dollars. Farrell’s report ... Read more

EU Agrees To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions

EU Agrees To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions
EU leaders called the 40-percent target an ambitious signal to the likes of the United States and China to follow suit at a U.N. climate summit France is hosting in December next year. “Europe is setting an example,” French President Francois Hollande said, acknowledging that it had been a hard-won compromise but calling the final deal “very ambitious.” “Ultimately, this is about survival,” said summit ... Read more

Local Communities are Taking Control of Their Power Supply

Local Communities are Taking Control of Their Power Supply
Communities going into power business to cut cost, carbon footprint “This follows on the heels of the whole local food movement,” Chris Mann, chief executive of yerba mate tea maker Guayaki in Sebastopol, Calif., says of the community power shift. “It is part of re-localization.” (David Butow / For The Times) Sonoma County, which enticed Americans to forsake factory-made food for artisan wines and farmers market produce, now wants consumers ... Read more

Baltimore air polluter fumbles, and kids score one for their hard-hit community

Baltimore air polluter fumbles, and kids score one for their hard-hit community
After close to three years of youth-led organizing against a massive incinerator planned for their South Baltimore Fairfield neighborhood, the young activists got their first taste of victory recently, when the state of Maryland ordered Energy Answers International, the company building the incinerator, to stop construction on the project. In this South Baltimore area, which has some of the worst air quality in the country thanks to the ... Read more

Global economic sharing: the most important debate of our time?

Global economic sharing: the most important debate of our time?
The implications of moving towards a global sharing economy are immense, but there are many reasons to embrace this simple concept - which is far more radical and urgent than it may at first seem. As a primer from STWR makes clear, the necessity of sharing the world’s resources is central to the most critical issues that face humanity in the 21st century. Read more

Rank-and-File Environmentalism

Rank-and-File Environmentalism
That the emergence of ecological consciousness among coal miners was intimately linked to a union democracy movement isn’t a coincidence. Fighting for democratic, rank and file-run unions is necessary for both opening the space for energy workers to discuss how to confront ecological destruction and to build the kind of power that will be necessary to confront the energy giants. Read more