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The Four Ds of Energy Democracy — Disruptive technology, Distributed power, Decentralization, and Democracy of ownership

solar panels

In a recent article, the East Coast-based Institute for Local Self-Reliance explains how we can evolve from energy monopoly to Energy Democracy in four steps. The bottom line is that it is all about placing more control in the hands of communities and individuals, resulting in more of the economic benefits of energy to accrue to regular people as opposed to giant corporate monopolies.

The article focuses on four “Ds” disruption, distributed power, decentralization, and democracy of ownership that combined, add up to fundamental systemic changes that set the stage for a true restructuring of how electrical power is generated, shared, stored, and used.

It resonates strongly for me given that my work in advancing Community Choice Energy in California touches on all of these points. In fact, Energy Democracy and Distributed Energy Resources will be explored in depth at the upcoming Business of Local Energy Symposium in Long Beach on May 5th.

Community Choice itself is a disruptive force, introducing competition into a sector that has been stilted for one hundred years in a regulated monopoly paradigm. And that competition is all about who can “out green” whom. The rapid growth of solar, wind, electric vehicles, and smart automation are some of the technological drivers, and the urgency of the climate crisis underpins all of this.

“The remarkable growth in renewable energy has shifted the sources of power for the electricity system, but the technological revolution to come promises to transform the powers that be, and give former energy customers the chance to take charge of their energy future.”                                                   – John Farrell – Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Read the entire article here.