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Community Power: Putting ‘Power’ in the Community

Community Power: Putting ‘Power’ in the Community

A joint article by 
Samantha Go and Devika Narayan, SolSolution 
Mümtaz Derya Tarhan, The Community Power Report

August 7, 2012

Who would have a better understanding of a community’s needs than community members themselves? And who can come up with better solutions to those needs but the community itself?

”…achieve something extraordinary, as a community”

Whether the need is economic, financial, environmental, or a combination of the three, local communities can respond to such needs through community-based renewable energy projects -or as we call them, Community Power projects.

There is much meaning behind the name Community Power. 
It does not only refer to electrical power generated by a community; it also implies individual and community empowerment.

Community Power enables individuals to take steps towards the betterment of the environment, their communities, and also their personal finances.

It also enables these individuals to gather for a common purpose and achieve something extraordinary, as a community.

This is where true economic, environmental and social sustainability lies. Through igniting individual behaviour change and community solidarity, Community Power starts an empowering process that enables communities to provide local solutions to their local needs for the long term.
”Community Power projects are versatile, because their strength
lies in a local community’s strength”

Communities from across the world are increasingly embracing locally-owned renewable energy projects. These groups identify their local communities’ needs, and make the best use of their local assets through the versatility of Community Power to address them.

Community Power projects are versatile, because their strength lies in a local community’s strength. Communities may be urban or rural; have a large tax base or not; may have a strong potential for whether solar, wind, biomass or hydro power. There is something that Community Power can do for all of them.

”Belfast Central’s students in New York built their own greenhouse”

Take a look at this island community from Scotland that installed a wind turbine to meet its power demand and also keep their vital social services alive. Or these two rural villages from Turkey that used solar and wind power to rescue their local economy and combat population drain. Even kids are joining in on the action – Belfast Central’s students in New York built their own solar-powered greenhouse, while simultaneously learning about renewable energy in their environmental science classroom.These are only some of the thousands of testimonies to Community Power’s versatility and effectiveness.

In the next two weeks, SolSolution and The Community Power Report aim to show you just how effective, versatile, and significant Community Power is in so many facets of community life. After introducing Community Power here, our following duo of articles will highlight its economic, environmental and social impacts. Both teams are excited to share the many benefits locally-owned renewable energy brings to the table, and maybe we’ll inspire a few of you to get involved in community power initiatives today!

Along our journey through the ins and outs Community Power, please feel free to contribute to our conversation by leaving us a comment below. Or you can tweet us with your thoughts and questions @thecpreport with hashtag #PowerUp.

Follow SolSolution on Twitter @thesolsolution and The Community Power Report @thecpreport

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