Revitalizing Rural Communities through the Renewable Energy Cooperative | by Amanda Bilek

by Sep 6, 2012All Articles

renewable-energy-cooperativeCooperatives 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.

This paper is part three 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. The papers are published in the summer of 2012.

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