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Danish Energy Cooperative Lets Consumers Collectively Build Wind Turbines

June 21, 2017 - 7:54pm

The establishment of a carbon-neutral energy system requires massive investments in infrastructure such as wind turbines. Because distributed energy systems do not fit the business models of the old energy utilities, they continue to invest far too little in this sector. Meanwhile, many individual electric power consumers are interested in investing in renewable power infrastructure, but these investments are too large and require a level of expertise too advanced for individual households to be able to support them. How can consumers take matters into their own hands?

Categories: Friends of GEO

How Residents of Hamburg Reclaimed the Power Grid

June 21, 2017 - 3:00pm

From 2000 to 2014, the energy infrastructure of the city of Hamburg was mainly in the hands of private energy monopolies such as Vattenfall and E.On that controlled most of Germany's electric power infrastructure. These companies had a strong interest in utilizing their coal and nuclear power plants as long as possible, thereby obstructing a shift to renewable energy. Moreover, they were reluctant to provide equal access to small power providers and invest in a smart grid that allows more effective management of variable, distributed power inputs.

Categories: Friends of GEO

Podcast: Late Environmental Economist Robin Murray's Views on Creating a New Economy

June 20, 2017 - 7:43pm

In this episode, we spoke with the late Robin Murray, a prolific sustainability and environmental economist, an advocate for a living economy, and a key player in the birth of the fair trade movement. Murray was named by The Guardian as one of the fifty people who could save the planet. He worked to establish the London Climate Change Agency with the Deputy Mayor of London, and alternated between working on innovative economic programs in local, regional, and national governments and in academia.

Categories: Friends of GEO

Timeline: History of Rural Electricity Cooperatives in the US

June 20, 2017 - 1:11pm

Most farms in the U.S. today have power, and many get their current from small, consumer-owned rural electric cooperatives. But in the 1930s, only 10 percent of these farms were connected to the electricity grid. During the New Deal era, a system of electricity cooperatives was established, and through the sharing of resources, the nation's rural communities were electrified. Within a few decades, roughly 90 percent of farms in the U.S. were connected to the electricity grid. The same grid exists today, but it is badly in need of an upgrade. 

Categories: Friends of GEO

Community Power Offers Fukushima a Brighter, Cleaner Future

June 19, 2017 - 4:27pm

In 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami ravaged the Fukushima prefecture, in the Tohoku region of Japan's main island of Honshu.

Categories: Friends of GEO