Energy transition worldwide: Publication on local projects

Researchers from Karlsruhe and Arizona are helping marginalized communities around the world to use clean energy sources and increase their resilience to climate change. A collection of local stories drives the exchange.
Cover for the new publication of "Let Communities Lead"
“Transformative change happens when the marginalized lead the march to the future.” The publication is adorned with an illustration of Mahatma Gandhi’s “Salt March” from 1930 (Source: ITAS / ASU)

In early 2021, ITAS and the Center for Energy and Society at Arizona State University (ASU) launched the “Let Communities Lead” initiative. Its goal is to increase knowledge, local ownership, and self-governance capacities of communities with regard to sustainable and climate-friendly energy projects.

To this end, researchers have now published 16 narratives in which authors from different countries around the globe report on the successful implementation of their projects. They not only describe planning and conception but also address the specific risks and challenges they faced in implementing their ideas.

One story, for example, addresses how the Indonesian village of Cibodas became an award-winning, energy-independent community by local farmers taking the initiative to build biodigesters. Another narrative tells of a project in Nepal in which local women used their specific knowledge to promote democratic management of the electricity supply and thus community sustainability. Another story describes the organizing process that enabled citizens to build the first energy cooperative in two Brazilian favelas.

The editors, including Davi Ezequiel François and Witold-Roger Poganietz of ITAS, helped the authors make the lessons learned from their projects understandable to readers with different disciplinary backgrounds.

Although the range of energy projects described is wide, it is clear in all narratives that the great success of the projects is always rooted in the leadership of local actors. (11.01.2022)

Bibliographic data:

Biswas, S.; François, D. E., Miller, C. A.; Parmentier, M. J.; Chettri, N.; Poganietz, W. R. (eds).

Let Communities Lead: Stories and lessons on grassroots energy initiatives for sustainable futures.

Tempe: Arizona State University, 2021, 79 pp.

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