Energy democracy: Alive and well in Denmark
Given that 19 per cent of electricity in Denmark comes from wind power, why would 155 local groups and organisations protest wind energy projects? The answer, as Preben Maegaard, renewable energy pioneer and Director of the Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy, explains, lies in how wind energy is being developed: these particular projects were proposed as privately owned for-profits. With three-quarters of the country’s wind turbines being owned by cooperatives, it is no surprise that this did not sit well with the local communities, which wholeheartedly support wind energy initiatives – developed by democratic means. That means allowing everyone to participate in the decentralised development of renewable energy so that citizens, communities, and farmers as well as small- and medium-sized enterprises benefit from the regional added value.
Energy democracy and decentralisation of energy production are focal themes of the World Future Council‘s parliamentary hearing on 100% Renewable Energy in European Regions, held at the Folkecenter in Thy, Denmark. We will pick up the debate on centralised versus decentralised again later this week.
Friday, October 5th, 2012