Taking Back the Grid: Municipalization Efforts in Hamburg, Germany and Boulder, Colorado

Heinrich Böll Foundation North America
Place of publication
Washington
Date of Publication
June 2014
Number of Pages
9
Licence
All rights reserved.

On the surface, the municipalization of the grid in Boulder and Hamburg look similar. In both cities, the campaign for municipalization was cast by competing parties—rhetorically and literally—as a battle for ownership over the energy grid: Well-organized grassroots initiatives, along with engaged, energy-educated citizens buoyed the case that controlling the grid infrastructure would empower citizens and the city to achieve accelerated climate goals. Utility providers, on the other hand, focused on traditional media campaigning and struggled to connect directly with citizens. Yet a number of important differences exist that may affect the future outcomes of the grid buybacks in Boulder, Hamburg and beyond.