Social Change Through Community Solar in Villages of India and Twin Cities Neighborhoods
Hear a panel of experts discuss their work and vision for Community Solar in the Twin Cities.
Date & Time:
1:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Social Change Through Community Solar in Villages of India and Twin Cities Neighborhoods: Infrastructure as Socio-Cultural Technology
University of Minnesota Twin Cities (Institute For Advanced Study and Institute on the Environment)
University of Minnesota Duluth (Anthropology Program and Cultural Entrepreneurship Program)
University of St. Thomas Office of Sustainability Initiatives
Featured Speaker: Anshuman Lath (GramOorja)
With: Timothy Den-Herder Thomas (Cooperative Energy Futures)
Marcus Mills (Community Power)
Kathryn Milun (Solar Commons)
Jason Edens (Rural Renewable Energy Alliance)
Asia Ward (Public Artist/Solar Energy)
How is community solar part of the solution to the problems of inequality and climate change across the earth? In India where over 300 million citizens (roughly the population of the US) is still without electricity, community solar is arriving to electrify remote rural villages with solar microgrids that are packaged in new ownership and governance structures that empower women. In the Twin Cities’ metropolitan area, the recent 2013 Solar Gardens legislation has brought on a surge of community solar initiatives but in what social forms and to what social ends? This panel-lead discussion will consider whether Minnesota's community solar is also emerging with new ownership and governance models that make this technology a vehicle for social change. What can our local community solar initiatives learn from the village solar model in India? And how might public art be engaged to help us better imagine the potential “community” and “social ecology” values of community solar?
Panel: Anshuman Lath, Director of Gram Oorja (Village Energy) will speak about his work with community trust owned solar in India; Kathryn Milun (Solar Commons) and Jason Edens (RREAL) will speak about their work with community trust solar for low-income neighborhoods; Timothy Den-Herder Thomas (Cooperative Energy Futures) and Marcus Mills (Community Power) will discuss their work and vision for Community Solar in the Twin Cities; and Asia Ward speak about her work with renewable energy and public art.