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Soulardarity, Highland Park, Michigan

Organising for energy democracy in the face of austerity

In 2012, citizens from Highland Park, Michigan came together to form Soulardarity in response to the repossession of over 1,000 streetlights from their city. Their goal is to organise for community-owned solar street lights, energy production and equitable development. Since its formation, Soulardarity has installed seven solar streetlights and deployed over US$ 30,000 worth of solar technology in Highland Park and the surrounding communities through the PowerUP bulk purchasing programme. The group has also organised advocacy at the city and state levels for regulation, policy and local political leadership to support community ownership, transparency and environmental responsibility.

Soulardarity also advocates for a Community Ownership Power Administration (COPA) as part of the growing call in the United States for a Green New Deal to tackle climate change, economic inequality and racial injustice.

Energy Democracy: Advancing Equity in Clean Energy Solutions

Edited by Denise Fairchild and Al Weinrub

A global energy war is underway. It is man versus nature, fossil fuel versus clean energy, the haves versus the have-nots, and, fundamentally, an extractive economy versus a regenerative economy. The near-unanimous consensus among climate scientists is that the massive burning of gas, oil, and coal is having a cataclysmic impact on our atmosphere and climate, and depleting earth’s natural resources, including its land, food, fresh water and biodiversity.