Our Hamburg, Our Grid decided to bring decision-making power back to the community by ousting energy giant Vattenfall and creating a local power utility that enables the city to provide greener, more reliable and less expensive energy, with greater accountability. To learn more, read this article and watch this short video about a similar successful campaign in Boulder, Colorado (USA).Photo by baden03, ‘Hamburg Rathaus’ (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Puerto Rico has suffered mightily under the neocolonial control of the United States. When Hurricane Maria hit in Fall 2017, it was an unprecedented disaster, but also a unique opportunity for Puerto Ricans to seize local control in the wake of the US government’s neglect. Resilient Power Puerto Rico was founded after Maria’s devastation, and is bringing human-scale solar technology to hard-hit parts of the island by distributing solar-electric power kits, and the knowledge of how to install them. Their goal is for each neighborhood to be self-reliant when it comes to power, and to end the island’s dependence on the top-down fossil fuel economy. Learn about their work on the Resilient Power PR website and this Medium article.
Based in West Java, Indonesia, Sundaya has produced and distributed home-scale solar energy kits to off-grid communities across the world for more than 25 years. The simple 12-volt systems do not require expertise, tools, or literacy to install, and the small scale of the systems frees people from the dangers of high-voltage wiring, from frequent power outages, and from dependence on fossil fuels and on systems that cannot easily be repaired locally. The kits are also designed to teach energy literacy – including the nature of energy, managing electricity production, usage and storage, and mindfulness of resource use. To learn more, visit mysundaya.com.
Vauban is a neighborhood in Freiburg, Germany, that is often cited as one of the best examples of sustainable urban living in the world. Built in the late 1990s on the site of an abandoned French military base, Vauban was envisioned from the beginning as a “sustainable model district,” and built using a mixture of sustainable technology and common sense to serve the needs of both people and the planet. To learn more, visit The World’s Most Successful Model for Sustainable Urban Development?.Photo by Tom Brehm (CC-BY-NC 2.0)