Divide and Conquer: Democratization of energy and information
Energiewende, a project presented, and in practice since the early 90s by Germany Green Partys team, in the National Geographic Magazine’s report “Germany Could Be a Model for How We’ll Get Power in the Future” seems to me a very attractive plan for transitioning to the future. Although that can’t be the only one.
The concept of Energiewende (which in literally german for “energy transition”) relies basically in “paying citizens to produce renewable energy”. That means common citizens can create “energy farms” to distribute power for nearby communities with subsidies from Government.
Even though the project wasn’t as successful as planned (coal still has 44% of the energy market), the renewables almost tripled their size since 1990 (the feed-in tariffs for renewable power started in 1991), getting to 27% of the internal market and pushing even coal mine owners to explore clean energy investments. As shown in the report, Vattenfall, a lignite (a damaging kind of coal) mining enterprise is looking forward and “It’s investing billions of euros in two new offshore wind parks in the North Sea — because there’s more wind offshore than on and because a large corporation needs a large project to pay its overhead.”.
So, energiewende seems a great way to start an energy upheaval. By transitioning with citizens capital, betting in their desire to make a profit, and simmultaneously distributing energy production all over, can be not only a possible, but a profitable way to transition.
Althought, that shift couldn’t come alone. In many countries, mostly underdeveloped, not only energy distribution is unequal, but information as well. Technological and financial information isn’t correctly shared.
Education, therefore, should come as a necessity, in order to the energy transition become successful. I believe that by democratizing both energy and information, we can make a huge difference in developing nations and, simmultaneously, attend the global transition faster.