Power to the People

2015, Society  -  60 min Leave a Comment
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In the Netherlands, ordinary citizens are assuming responsibility for generating their own sources of energy through the installation of solar panels and wind turbines. This practice has grown into a widespread movement, and threatened the viability of traditional power companies in the region. As explored in the documentary Power to the People, this phenomenon has altered the population's reliance on profit-centered corporate structures, and empowered their capacity for self-sufficiency. Can a similar movement be made possible in other realms of daily existence such as health care?

When neighbors collaborate to share the costs of alternative energy methods, as it has been done on the Danish island of Samso, the entire community benefits. This is reflected in the savings they enjoy from bypassing the power companies, and the profits they incur from the surplus energies they generate. In addition, the film argues that green energy prices are expected to remain fixed as traditional energy costs continue to rise with each passing decade. The practice also has wider ramifications for the region as a whole; it means additional savings on the price tags of goods and services that customarily inflate with rising fuel and oil costs.

What's occurring in the Netherlands transcends mere economics. By becoming their own suppliers, these consumers band together to form a more tight-knit community; one whose unified voice epitomizes what it means to live in a truly democratic society. Together, they are sidestepping big corporations by crafting an entirely new energy independent future of their own making.

As evidenced in the film, it's just a matter of time before the sustainable energy revolution in Samso begins to take hold throughout the globe. Once consumers embrace the opportunity to become energy independent, they will likely feel inspired to continue the trend in other areas of their lives as well. "The people are taking charge," says Marjan Minnesma, a sustainability accelerator and one of several entrepreneurial subjects featured in the film. "There's social sustainability, meaning people get group insurances, or they cook together or offer care together to keep the elderly at home." Power to the People shows us that the revolution has indeed begun, and there's no limit to what we can achieve when we work together.