Building Grassroots-Led and Community Owned Energy Projects

Clean energy should be affordable and owned by everyone.

Energy is such a basic and important necessity that everyone should affordably access, own, and control it.

By now, you have probably seen the alarming headlines warning that we only have 12 years left to turn climate change around. That's not a lot of time! The problem is that we need energy to make stuff happen, and most energy is generated through polluting sources such as the burning of fossil fuels. Luckily, many groups have already figured out the solution: We need to democratize clean energy.

Check out our newest video!

Energy Democracy is pretty complicated... but we drew some cartoons to make the concept easier to understand. Check out this video of our Executive Director Janelle Orsi presenting at a day-long gathering of energy equity leaders. 

This presentation unpacks the concept of community-owned energy. Janelle also describes some basic legal concepts and offers some guiding principles for governance, financial structure, and long-term community control.

As society tackles climate change and builds alternatives to the fossil fuel industry, we have an opportunity to do so in a way that shares the economic benefits equitably and avoids re-creating a two-tiered society where wealthier people own all the energy infrastructure and everyone else is dependent on buying energy from them.

The Law Center's Community Renewable Energy Program is focused on breaking down legal barriers to community-owned renewable energy. Our focus is incubating a Permanent Community Energy Cooperative -- a legal model and approach for scaling renewable energy development that accelerates an equitable transition to renewables by enabling widespread grassroots crowd-financing of new energy projects designed for long-term community ownership and control.

Learn more about our community renewable energy work or contact Subin DeVar at subin@theselc.org.


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