I live in central Missouri and my electricity comes from a rural co-op. I’m in my third year of purchasing eight units a month of wind energy at $3/unit. It’s not much, and it’s (i think) coming from of state (Kansas) but for $24 a month I am weaning myself from coal. It will be really nice when that same wind energy is being generated in Missouri.— Vanessa
#2 Vanessa’s post is hopeful. The renewable energy industry can change the power dynamics of one of our most important resources. Large corporations control citizen access to all major resources, but this has always been an exploitive, extractive, and destructive system.
Creating rural co-ops, where the energy is produced and controlled by the citizens, for the citizens, we develop a resource stream that empowers the people who both produce and depend on it. Do not let large corporations come into our towns and try to steal what is rightfully ours and then sell it back to us!
As we power-down our societies, let us empower our communities. Join the discussion at…
Samuel Kraft (#5),
The romance of the co-op concept is deceptive, at least from a clean energy perspective - rural co-ops are far more regressive when it comes to green energy than either regulated private utilities or independent generators. Granted regulated utilities have in most cases been driven by legislation and regulation to do what they’ve done, but in some ways that’s the point, and it’s been for-profit, competitive independent producers who have led in development of new clean energy sources. In most cases the last bastions of new coal-fired plant construction are rural co-ops, and those same co-ops have used their taxpayer-subsidized cost of capital to freeze out the independent generators who are innovating new clean sources of generation. In most states with renewable portfolio standards, co-ops have successfully fought to be excluded from them, and they’ve in most cases they’ve used that exclusion to continue with business-as-usual. You need to revisit your romantic notion of the inherent virtues of rural co-ops.— Michael HoganIt seems as though I do not really know what I am talking about when I spoke about rural co-ops. This guy Michael dropped some authoritative sounding jargon on me. But he did not sound all preachy like I did, which is the more important part of my post anyways. I can't believe he did not start his post with a compliment...that is rude.