US and International Perspectives
Edited by Raya Salter, Carmen G. Gonzalez and Elizabeth A. Kronk Warner
Chapter 10: Energy democracy: power to the people? An introduction
10. Eleanor Stein, Energy democracy: power to the people? An introduction. This chapter examines the contours of energy democracy. This chapter discusses how energy democracy has emerged in the American energy policy space as both a relatively new concept and a rallying cry. The energy democracy movement developed in Europe and has gained popularity in the United States as communities have sought to exert self-determination over their energy systems. Energy democracy, however, also has a broader meaning. It encompasses the struggle against the corporate ownership of socially vital and environmentally strategic resources in favor of democratically controlled and socially owned energy. The chapter, notes, however, that democratically controlled or owned utility systems do not necessarily result in social justice or equity. Through a case study of the Reforming the Energy Vision initiative in New York State, the chapter illustrates the ways in which grassroots movements are increasingly seeking both control over energy decision-making and also ownership of the energy infrastructure itself.
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