Wednesday, December 16, 2015

What is Community Renewable Energy?

Back in 2010, a group of community solar pioneers took a shot at defining community renewable energy! With minor rewrites, here are the 10 criteria. This could serve as a guide in project development and in evaluating various models.

1. Community renewable energy is initiated through an open grass-roots process with all stake holders at the table.

2. Community renewable energy is as distributed as possible – if not on your roof, in your neighborhood. If not in your neighborhood, within your county.

3. Community renewable energy takes into account all externalities – carbon footprint, land use, and visual + auditory impacts.

4. Community renewable energy is integrated into the local environment with multiple uses – combined with plant or animal production (agrivoltaics), covered parking, brownfield redevelopment, etc.

5. Community renewable energy strengthens community capital – local agriculture, religious or environmental groups, schools, libraries, community centers, etc.

6. Community renewable energy is owned in common or fractionally by its users, or leased-to-own, with the right to democratic governance.

7. Community renewable energy keeps money local, re-investing in additional solar or other community benefits.

8. Community renewable energy supports local entrepreneurs, workers, and non-profits.

9. Community renewable energy is available to low and middle income people and people of color in numbers sufficient to equalize solar penetration amongst socioeconomic groups.

10. Community renewable energy keeps people engaged in groups, helping them become more sustainable in every way. Community renewable energy groups reach out to other communities, work together, and share resources and knowledge.

Link to the page at

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