The 5th Annual Conference of the Local Clean Energy Alliance
Check out the Conference Program and Videos!
The Local Clean Energy Alliance was proud to host the 5th annual Clean Power, Healthy Communities Conference on March 5, 2015, promoting the development of locally-controlled clean energy economies as a necessary path to a sustainable future.
“I was pleasantly surprised, inspired even, by the conference framing: that clean energy is just one piece of the broad goal of community power.
I went in thinking I'd learn more about the innovations in clean energy, but came away with that and saw how various groups were weaving in community
transformation right alongside it.”
Mari Rose Taruc,
State Organizing Director,
Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)
The conference was a diverse gathering of policy makers, entrepreneurs, and community advocates engaged in a thoughtful and inspiring exploration of strategies and programs for advancing a local clean energy transition in the Bay Area and beyond.
The 5th annual conference featured plenaries and breakout sessions on the role of energy democracy—community control and ownership of energy resources—in the transition to a renewable future. How can we leverage the distributed nature of renewable energy to build a new economy that is regenerative, sustainable, and equitable? What approaches are being used to build community control of energy sources from the ground up? What emerging technologies and alternative financing mechanisms will contribute to the growth of community-based energy development?
Why Energy Democracy
The urgency to address the growing threat of climate collapse is causing many to support quick-fix decarbonization models as alternatives to fossil-fuel-based energy, as solutions to the climate crisis. These models are based on large-scale, centralized, corporate energy generation (both renewable and nuclear), which leaves the logic of unlimited growth in consumption, extreme inequality, and centralized economic power unchallenged.
However, the Local Clean Energy Alliance joins a growing consensus that a new life-sustaining economic model is needed to avoid ecological disaster, and that decentralized, democratized energy resources are an essential aspect of the transformation to a sustainable future.
There have been hopeful developments in this regard: the significant increase in Community Choice initiatives throughout California, the rapid growth in rooftop solar installation, and the movement of institutions to divest from fossil-fuel holdings and reinvest in life-sustaining local economies. These developments have engendered a ruthless backlash from the corporate energy establishment.
Build the Movement
The Clean Power, Healthy Communities conference served to strengthen the movement for a sustainable energy, in which communities and grassroots organizations are playing an increasingly decisive role. The conference was a venue for discussions of how to overcome political and financial obstacles to advancing energy democracy. It provided an opportunity for organizations and individuals committed to these efforts to interact and share experiences.