7 December 2009

Adopt a kW

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Adotta un kW
This contribution is by Camilla Masala, an Experientia collaborator, and is part of our background research for the Low2No project on creating an urban development with no CO2 impact through affecting behavioural change:

The energy market liberalization has created new opportunities, also for average citizens, and not only because there is now more choice on the market. We are moving from an energy production monopoly to distributed production: every site can now become a potential energy source. While in the past energy production and management were based on delegation and transfer, now citizens themselves become energy producers, and their contribution is particularly significant with respect to alternative energy sources.

Organic farmer Marco Mariano started the “Adopt a kW” initiative — a cooperative photovoltaic system — in his home region Piedmont, and his very active blog helped spread the idea also to other Italian regions.

The basic concept that underlies “Adopt a kW” — that all citizens can purchase a share of the photovoltaic system — has proven to be successful: many people have joined the project and founded a co-op to run the initiative (called Solare Collettivo). The photovoltaic system is currently hosted in a building owned by a social cooperative in the small Piedmont town of Mondovì. It provides electricity at discount rates and guarantees Solare Collettivo members guaranteed annual savings, the size of which depend on the system’s productivity. Coming from all over Italy, not all Solare Collettivo members can obtain their energy from the Mondovì-based system, yet they are committed to investing in the renewable energy market.

The documentary of the same name was directed by Elena Micheloni and was selected for the 12th edition of the CinemAmbiente Festival in Turin. It shows the process involved in founding and implementing the cooperative photovoltaic system.

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