What is community power?

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May 20, 2012, 6:55:37 PM5/20/12
to sgmi...@googlegroups.com, solarga...@googlegroups.com
I wrote these definitions back in 2010, but they should be just as valuable today:

We're taking a shot at defining community power! Here's what I wrote as a basic definition in the ideal case:

1. Community power is initiated through a grass-roots process with all stake holders at the table.

2. Community power is as distributed as possible - if not on your roof, in your neighborhood. If not in your neighborhood, within your county. And if not in your county, in a sister community with a complementary energy profile (one sunny, the other windy, say).

3. Community power takes into account all externalities - carbon footprint, land use, and visual + auditory impacts.

4. Community power is integrated into the local environment with multiple uses - providing shade, co-located with local food production, or used as public art. A solar garden should be a place people want to go.

5. Community power supports existing social networks - local agriculture, religious or environmental groups, schools, libraries, community centers, etc.

6. Community power is owned in common or fractionally by its users, or leased-to-own.

7. Community power keeps money local, re-investing revenue in improvements.

8. Community power supports local entrepreneurs, workers, and non-profits. It's available to low and middle income people.

9. Community power keeps people engaged in groups, helping them become more sustainable in every way.

10. Community power groups work together, share resources and knowledge, reach out to other communities, and work for further reform.


Joy Hughes
Founder, Solar Gardens Institute http://www.solargardens.org
CEO, The Solar Panel Hosting Company, http://www.solarpanelhosting.com
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