More from Al Weinrub

Energy Democracy: Inside Californians’ Game-Changing Plan for Community-Owned Power
November, 2015
This article, published in YES! Magazine, was written for New Economy Week 2015. It is an introduction to Community Choice energy programs in California, the potential of such programs to benefit local communities, the efforts of the state’s monopoly utilities to squash these programs, and the challenges of using Community Choice to democratize energy.

Toward a Climate Justice Energy Platform:
Democratizing our Energy Future

June, 2015
This paper, written with Anthony Giancatarino, lays out a vision, political framework, strategies, and principles of democratized energy development as the basis for a proposed platform to advance energy democracy in the U.S.  Includes model policies and programs and snapshots of climate justice energy advocacy from around the country.

Expressions of Energy Democracy:
Perspectives on an Emerging Movement

August, 2014
Looks at a few of the explicit expressions of energy democracy, some of the related programmatic approaches, and some of the leading proponents of democratizing energy in the U.S.

East Bay Community Choice Energy:
From Concept to Implementation

February, 2014
This study, co-authored with Seth Baruch, covers Community Choice energy from A to Z. It was prepared to educate policymakers and other stakeholders about the potential for a Community Choice energy program in San Francisco’s East Bay. However it has broad application to anyplace in California where Community Choice is being considered.

The study examines the potential benefits of creating a Community Choice energy program: local renewables development, new community investments, job creation, greenhouse gas reductions, and lower energy bills. It what the program’s administrative agency does and describes the process of establishing it. In addition, the study presents a sample resource development scenario to show the impact on jobs creation, bill savings, and greenhouse gas reductions. It also estimates the investment required and potential revenues of such a program.

The study was prepared for the Berkeley Climate Action Coalition, Community Choice Working Group, in collaboration with the Oakland Climate Action Coalition, Clean Energy & Jobs Oakland Campaign.

What the Heck is a REC?
August, 2013
This short 12-page publication explains the ins and outs of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), especially their significance for electricity procurement by Community Choice energy programs. The report is meant to be useful to clean energy advocates by providing information about California’s renewable energy requirements and the use of RECs to meet them. The information is relevant to other states, as well. The report seeks to cut through the confusion about RECs and set the record straight regarding the many misrepresentations about the nature and value of RECs in moving toward a renewable energy future.

Labor’s Stake in Decentralized Energy
October, 2012
A strategic perspective prepared for the Energy Emergency, Energy Transition international labor roundtable hosted by the Cornell Global Labor Institute. The roundtable drew unionists from five continents and eighteen countries to address how to combat the concentrated control of worldwide energy resources through increased energy democracy.

National Progressive Radio Interview
May 8, 2012
SolarTimes editor Sandy LeonVest in conversation with energy democracy advocate Al Weinrub, author of “ Community Power: Decentralized Renewable Energy in California.” Al Weinrub’s book is an excellent resource for anyone seeking to understand not only why, in an era of accelerated climate change, we need locally-generated renewable power, but exactly how we can begin building it. Al and Sandy discuss the need for a REAL clean energy movement that builds a 21st century energy model from the ground up, as opposed to one that tweaks the 20th century energy paradigm. In particular, they discus the potential and problems in pursuing Community Choice energy programs in the US.

National Progressive Radio Interview
May 17, 2011

SolarTimes editor Sandy LeonVest talks to energy researcher and author Al Weinrub about his groundbreaking new publication, Community Power: Decentralized Renewable Energy in California, which focuses on both the benefits and feasibility of decentralized renewable energy. In this well-researched study, Al Weinrub goes further than most of his contemporaries, offering what is essentially a roadmap for communities interested in implementing small scale renewable projects, while graphically illustrating how and why communities need to “take back the power” and break away from the corporate-controlled energy model.

Why a Decentralized Energy System?
March 18, 2011
A ten-minute video that describes what a decentralized energy system is and how it benefits local communities. This presentation helped frame the Clean Power Healthy Communities Conference, which drew 150 people in Oakland, California to discuss the benefits of local renewable power and how to build a movement to realize those benefits.

Oakland Coalition Charts New Course on Climate Strategy
December, 2009
A short article published in Race, Poverty, & the Environment describing the goals and organizing strategy of the Oakland Climate Action Coalition as told through the voices of the coalition’s leaders. The strategy puts climate justice and equitable economic development at the center of a sustainable community development model.


Organizations and Initiatives Promoting Decentralized Renewable Energy

In the US

Local Clean Energy Alliance
San Francisco Bay Area

Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR)

Solar Done Right

Sierra Club California Energy-Climate Committee

Sierra Club’s “My Generation” Campaign

California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA)

Renewable Communities Alliance
Colorado and Arizona

Center for Social Inclusion

Community Power Network
Southern California

Solar Gardens Institute

Clean Coalition

Little Village Environmental Justice Organization

Oregonians for Renewable Energy Policy

Renewables 100 Policy Institute

Center for Earth Energy & Democracy

Co-op Power

Trade Unions for Energy Democracy

Our Power Campaign


World Future Council

Heinrich Boell Stiftung North America