Our view of the opportunities
We're living at a pivotal time in history. We face a convergence of social crises – climate change, inequality, mass incarceration, and more – and the science is clear that we must quickly reduce carbon emissions to avoid catastrophic warming.
At the same time, technology is available to transition away from fossil fuels. We have the ability to create local clean energy, owned by the community rather than corporations. We can finance these projects so that everyone can participate, not just those with capital or high credit scores.
Most people in the US currently rely on monopoly-owned utilities for their energy. This system fundamentally prioritizes profit and shareholders over the public interest. Here in Minnesota, we’ve seen Xcel Energy publicly oppose deadlines for transitioning to clean energy as fast as our planet needs it to.
We can escape dependence on monopoly-owned energy. As individuals, communities, and cities working together, we can create a clean, equitable energy infrastructure that everyone can be a part of. We know we can do it because we are!
Cooperative Solar in Minnesota
Just Solar Coalition member Cooperative Energy Futures has developed a cooperative solar model accessible regardless of income or credit score. Important elements of this model include:
- Community Solar subscribers can opt into a pay-as-you-go model, allowing them to avoid any upfront charge. This makes community more accessible and affordable. Subscribers will see an immediate savings on their utility bill
- Subscribers are member-owners, receiving shares of any generated profit
- Subscribers receive information about their energy production
- CEF partners to grow a diverse, accessible solar workforce, including solar training opportunities for people of color
- CEF partners with the Just Solar Coalition and a broad group of community-based organizations
For more information, please see Making Clean Energy Work for Everyone, TED Talk by Timothy DenHerder-Thomas and The Humanist: The Heart of Climate Justice: Creating the Energy Infrastructure We Want to See, by Timothy DenHerder-Thomas.