"Power From The People"
Last Monday, April 8th at 7:30pm the UAlbany hosted environmental author Greg Pahl. Mr. Pahl spoke to an audience of about twenty students and Albany residents about the ability of small communities to develop independent renewable sources of energy. According to Pahl, if we continue to rely solely upon large organizations, oligopolies that control our energy distribution (aka electric companies) for our energy needs, we will eventually see a collapse of the current system because we are heavily reliant upon non-renewable energy sources, i.e. oil. Our reliance upon fossil fuels leaves us vulnerable to unforeseen change and one day our basic energy needs may not be fulfilled.
The move from current energy structures, though daunting and unobtainable overnight, is viable as outlined by Greg Pahl in his book Power From The People. Pahl suggested that a solution to the impending crisis is community-based energy. Local community energy, as dictated by Greg Pahl’s core principles: creates new jobs and business opportunities;provides energy security and price stability; expands the tax base; generates new income; gets people involved; and retains more money in local economy.
Greg Pahl’s lecture stirred questions in my mind such as, “How does one begin to achieve the goal of renewable community energy?” If you are interested in answering that question I recommend Mr.Pahl’s book, Power From the People. After the lecture I read passages, which I found to be an interesting read and a breath of fresh air. Greg Pahl does not take the idealist approach when it comes to implementing renewable energy; Pahl discusses renewable energy strategies from a pragmatic point of view and presents the pros and cons of each source of renewable energy. He discusses how to give incentive towards businesses on choosing the renewable/community energy approach. All of which provides a mentally stimulating read and makes you ask, “What can I do and how do we get started?”
Preview of “Power From the People”: http://www.scribd.com/doc/101046919/Energy-and-Our-Communities-An-Excerpt-from-Power-from-the-People-by-Greg-Pahl