Three vital advantages of municipal utilities

Posted Posted in City council, Democracy, Devolution, Energy, Environment, Finance, Import substitution, Local economies, Local government, Low carbon, Planning, Politics, Procurement, Renewable energy, Sustainability, Transition

Bob Massie of America’s New Economics Institute sent news today that voters in Boulder, Colorado, have ended their relationship with Xcel Energy, a utility with $10.7 billion in revenues, clearing the way for the city to form its own municipal utility that would lower rates and make greater use of renewable energy. The city’s ‘multiple pleas’ for more clean wind […]

Reviving a genuinely local entrepreneurial culture

Posted Posted in Banks, City council, Democracy, Devolution, Economics, Economy, Energy, Finance, Local economies, Local government, Localisation, Microfinance, Planning, Procurement, Regional economies, Renewable energy, Transition, Waste

Innovative thinkers often have to wait ten to twenty years before their concepts become mainstream. Two years ago David Boyle (New Economics Foundation) listed ten linked propositions, many borrowed from the most successful cities in Europe and North and South America, which could effectively allow cities to take back control of their economic destiny. Agreeing with the City Growth Commission […]

Energy security, using devices manufactured in this country

Posted Posted in Economy, Employment, Energy, Environment, Import substitution, Local economies, Localisation, Low carbon, Manufacturing, Planning, Procurement, Regional economies, Renewable energy, Transition

Professor John A. Mathews’ areas of expertise include semiconductors, flat panel displays and new energy industries, solar photovoltaics and LEDs. He wrote in the Financial Times: “A quite different version of “energy security” involves reliance on the power generated by renewable devices – wind turbines, solar cells – that are manufactured in the country itself. “What you make is yours, […]

Should we learn from countries whose companies own our energy providers?

Posted Posted in Co-operatives, Democracy, Devolution, Economy, Employee ownership, Employment, Energy, Environment, Import substitution, Low carbon, Manufacturing, Planning, Procurement, Regional economies, Renewable energy, Social Enterprise, Transition

Celia Richardson, director of the Social Economy Alliance, is the lead signatory of a letter in the Financial Times.   The Alliance was launched by Social Enterprise UK, a coalition of leading social economy organisations, in order to influence the way political parties formulate social and economic policies before the next General Election and increase the impact of the social […]

Should QE now be used for the common good – extending and adapting the work of Birmingham Energy Savers?

Posted Posted in Bank of England, Banks, City council, Devolution, Economy, Employment, Energy, Environment, Finance, Green New Deal, Import substitution, Local economies, Localisation, Low carbon, Manufacturing, Planning, Politics, Renewable energy, Transition, Transport

. Quantitative Easing currently benefits the non-bank financial sector, commercial banks and the Treasury Under QE, Hansard evidence informs us, the Bank of England’s Asset Purchase Facility purchase of just under £375bn of government bonds from the non-bank financial sector has led to a lowering of long term interest rates. The non-bank financial sector and commercial banks now hold more […]

Doctor prescribes localisation

Posted Posted in Energy, Environment, Food, Local economies, Low carbon, Procurement, Regional economies, Renewable energy, Sustainability, Transition, Water

. Dr Mansfield, after surveying Macmillan Support’s analysis, continues: Macmillan’s spokesperson acknowledges that cancer survivors are usually weakened in some way by the treatment. This is likely to make them more vulnerable to the other kinds of disease which will eventually carry them off. But not before yet more medical services and long-term support. And most of the half of […]

Community energy groups developing local initiatives in Britain and Germany

Posted Posted in Co-operatives, Economy, Energy, Local economies, Low carbon, Planning, Regional economies, Renewable energy, Social Enterprise, Sustainability, Transition

. DECC Call for Evidence on community energy A reader pointed out this passage in Hansard (Written answers): Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent discussions he has had with community energy co-operatives and other community energy groups on developing such local initiatives; what assessment he has made of the success of […]

Community currencies

Posted Posted in Economics, Local economies, Localisation, Microfinance, Renewable energy, Social Enterprise, Trade, Transition, Transition Network

There are local or community currencies in several British towns, including Bath, Stroud, Totnes, Calderdale, Bristol and Brixton – and in many countries around the world. The most recent reports have come from India and South Africa. Jeremy Williams writes that with the financial system in disarray and the economic downturn, local currencies come into their own: “They are counter-cyclical: […]

Is the priority to expand world trade or to build on the resilience of communities?

Posted Posted in Biodiversity, Books and articles, Economics, Energy, Environment, Food, Globalisation, Local economies, Planning, Procurement, Regional economies, Renewable energy, Transition

Fleming, second left, discussing the working of an experimental rocket stove – to capture heat with clean combustion – at Transition Town Louth, Lincolnshire (The Times) In Lean Logic, David Fleming asks: “Is the priority to expand world trade, to push ahead with the global market, or to build on the resilience of communities, to protect them from the turbulence […]

Does supporting local business build resilient local economies – and a more peaceful world?

Posted Posted in Economy, Energy, Environment, Fair trade, Food, Local economies, Localisation, Low carbon, Regional economies, Renewable energy, Social Enterprise, Sustainability, Water

Judy Wicks, a board member of the NEI – featured recently on this site – thinks that it does. Looking around for more information, evidence of a very adventurous and constructive life – including living with the Eskimos and working with the Zapatistas  – was easily found online. Her unusual slant on localisation was extracted from the 24th Schumacher Lecture […]