German Energy Transition #3


German Energy Transition #3

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Energy Cooperatives. iStock.

Revitalizing Rural Communities through the Renewable Energy Cooperative

June 5, 2012
Amanda Bilek

Cooperatives have a vast history of playing important roles in supporting local economies in both the Midwestern United States and Germany. Today, a significant opportunity exists to build on existing cooperative models in the Midwest to also supply sources of local, renewable energy production. A renewable energy cooperative effort could bring together individual farmers, rural electric and farmer cooperative associations, municipal utilities, equipment manufacturers, individual citizens to pool together resources for constructing and owning renewable energy generating facilities while creating a steady revenue stream for the local community. In this article, Amanda Bilek from the Great Plains Institute examines the lessons from Germany's rural small-town renewable energy revolution and how they may apply to the Midwestern United States.

Click here to read Revitalizing Rural Communities through the Renewable Energy Cooperative (6 pages, pdf, 1.48MB)


This paper is part six of a six-part series on the German Energy Transition (Energiewende). The authors are experts on different issues such as renewable energies, rural communities, social movements, and nuclear power. Click the titles below to read the more of the series.

1- Angst or Arithmetic? Why Germans are so skeptical about nuclear energy
by Paul Hockenos

2- German Solar Bubble? Look again!
by Craig Morris

3- Revitalizing Rural Communitites through the Renewable Energy Cooperative
by Amanda Bilek

4- A Fresh Breeze for Seaports: How offshore wind boosts maritime economies in Germany
by Rebecca Bertram

5- Transatlantic Exchange: Why California is to blame for the "Energiewende"
by Paul Hockenos

6- German Energy Freedom: Moving beyond energy independence to energy democracy
by Craig Morris

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