One thing we have learnt this week – power from the people

Solar PV on my roofThis week there have been two examples that I have learnt about of power from the people.  In the first two Germans, Arwen Colell and Luise Neumann-Cosel have set up a not for profit company to buy Berlin’s electricity grid which apparently comes up for sale automatically every 15-20 years.  Whilst the debate on the German energy system is centred on rising costs due to renewables, the phase out of nuclear and coal fired power, these two think everyone is missing the point.

The government and energy utilities are focused on generating capacity but the local distribution grids are the final common pathway. They need to shift from just being the last mile between a huge power plant and the consumer to being a smart, decentralised and adaptive structure.

Everyone that invests get an equal vote but will share in the profits depending on how much they have invested.  It remains to be seen whether they will be successful in purchasing Berlin’s grid.

Meanwhile closer to home Nottingham city council is going to have a go at power from the people.  It has announced its setting up its own energy supply company.  Run on a not for profit basis it will launch next year with a high street shop and a call centre.  It hopes to shave £120 off the average bill.

Both groups are working on ideas that if successful could disrupt our established energy system.  Watch this space….

We have a lent guide to download here No oil in the lamp – Lent guide.


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