Unions must then develop transformational strategies that are anchored in a paradigm of sharing, solidarity, and sufficiency. This is perhaps the only way to ensure a Just Transition for workers, and survival for human society as a whole. The Transnational Institute TNI has tracked cities around the world that are taking control of their local energy supply, sometimes backed by popular votes. The city of Munich in Germany is particularly inspiring. The council did this because they were tired of waiting for the private companies to make the necessary investments, and they were confident that the city council could do the job better — putting sustainability before profit.
By , the utility company aims to produce so much green energy that the entire demand of the city can be met. We propose that you would have easy access to data and information, and could give your feedback and ideas online, on the phone or in a shopfront on every high street.
Public planning processes would include large scale meetings every five years, annual reporting back, open board meetings and citizens assemblies for difficult or controversial issues. We need local, regional and national conversations about our energy future. The conversations should involve organisations and groups who understand the challenges in the energy supply chain. Controversial, extremely damaging extraction techniques like fracking should be outlawed altogether.
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Asad Rehman has argued the Green New Deal will be dirtier than we think as the technology often depends on extracting rare minerals from countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chile. We need the right to vote against any proposals to privatise or outsource energy. These accountability mechanisms and democratic processes would go hand in hand with a bold plan for a Green New Deal — delivered through public ownership at every stage: generation of renewable energy, transmission and distribution across the country, and supply to our homes.
Government needs a duty to decarbonise — and that means leaving the oil and gas in the ground. Platform points out that extracting 20 billion barrels of oil and gas will make it totally impossible to meet our carbon targets. The UK and Scottish governments need to switch subsidies to renewables and work with trade unions and communities on a plan for just transition.
To answer this, government, councils and unions need to work together to introduce new green, permanent, unionised, skilled jobs and revitalise communities across the UK. We need a new Lucas Plan , with workers at the heart of the process — looking at how technology can be best deployed for social benefit.
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Public ownership can create hundreds of thousands of jobs in generating energy and in new industry supply chains. This creates a huge opportunity to reverse decades of underinvestment in ex-mining communities decimated by Thatcher. Platform estimates that 40, existing oil workers direct and supply chain may need to be in a different job by But their research shows , with ambitious government policies, we can create three to four times as many jobs in clean energy industries. Right now, government is undermining renewable energy with regressive policies, failing to give vital support to onshore wind and solar — and renewable energy jobs have plunged by a third.
This is a disaster.
The government needs to reinstate subsidies for solar and deliver an onshore wind boom. Workers and climate change protestors joined together in an 11 day occupation against the closure of the Vestas wind turbine factory in The company has now created some new jobs but not as many as it axed. We could take control over decisions like this — with a publicly owned British company with a long term strategy for turbine manufacture, with workers, citizens and the public on the board.
Offshore wind is touted as a success — but the real story here is that the public is missing out by leaving it to non UK companies public and private to pick up the benefits. These would lead the way in investing in and directly operating publicly owned offshore wind capacity.
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Effectively they would also act as anchor institutions, boosting local and regional economies. The public sector can build its renewables capacity and expertise and ultimately deliver far more efficiently than the private sector. Modelling work by Frontier Economics for IPPR shows how full public ownership through construction and operation can generate substantial savings for consumers because of the lower cost of capital.
The National Grid — which transmits electricity and gas across the country — and the regional distribution companies which distribute energy — were built for an age of coal, oil and nuclear. The future of energy is decentralised and renewable. We need to own this vital infrastructure so we can upgrade it. Your gas might well be distributed by Cadent Gas — recently found guilty of leaving residents without gas for up to five months, and putting blocks of flats in danger by keeping no inspection record — owned by a consortium including Macquarie an Australian investment bank , CIC Capital owned by China Investment Corporation and the Qatar Investment Authority.
These private energy monopolies often make it difficult for community groups who want to develop new renewable energy projects, so the process is slower and more expensive than it should be. Communities in Harris and Lewis have been slowed down by National Grid in their effort to develop a wind farm.
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Under public ownership, National Grid and the regional distribution companies would have a duty to work closely with community groups to develop new renewable energy, and to steward public assets and land. In Germany, renewable energy producers have a guaranteed right of access to the electricity grid.
As Andrew Cumbers points out , in Denmark, the government has encouraged local, decentralised wind power on a huge scale, through funding and support for local, collective ownership of turbines. The Danish Wind Turbine Owners Association is an independent, democratically elected membership association set up to represent these small scale, private and cooperative owners. With members, it provides a strong voice for local communities on energy policy. Customer satisfaction with the Big Six companies is low. Publicly owned energy supply companies would have a duty to make sure everyone has access to affordable energy.
Forward thinking councils are already created new, inspiring, publicly owned supply companies — with Nottingham-based Robin Hood Energy boldly leading the way and setting up 10 white label partnership agreements with local authorities around the country.
We need to sign up to get our energy from these companies — then build on these exciting options across the country. Ultimately when we get the privatised energy companies out, regional distribution companies could offer supply to people in the area, but with local companies taking over wherever they exist. The Green New Deal should also mean we are energy citizens not energy consumers. Ann Pettifor points out that there are 27 million households in the UK , most built in the Victorian era. The Green New Deal is an opportunity to change all that.
Trusted, publicly owned companies can create new jobs for advisors to go door to door. This would pay for itself, boosting employment and tax revenue in every region of the UK. Renewable, zero carbon energy. Upgraded infrastructure. Affordable energy for all.
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And all of it creating new, green, permanent jobs. This article was taken from a recent report published by Common Wealth. Very good! They were angry because after Sanchez government set the very welcomed new law regulating solar PV instalations, utility companies are rushing to build solar farms like crazy with the objective of saturating the market ASAP and prevent roof top installations.
It makes much more sense to produce solar PV the nearest to the points of demand and reduce land occupation with huge PV fields but again, the interests of wealthy investors go first. Here in AZ the same issue is a problem. The major electrical utilities have recently been pursuing a 2 prong approach to solar PV installations. This, along with reducing or eliminating incentives, has put a damper on new installations in the state that has the best solar resource in the country.
We were offered a deal by our electric utility that if we allowed the utility to install 14 solar modules, 3.
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The utility would own the installation and maintain it. The utilities want to have total control. A 4 kW installation migth yield more than 8. Just back of the envelope calculations. For those not familiar with roof top solar installations AND reading quickly. Nevada just north of Arizona has similar solar conditions AND is at a higher elevation cooler temps where PV panels are more efficient. Sorry my mistake. There may be a tax on those sales.