We post our news and reflections on energy, and we also like to repost pieces that we find relevant to community-owned renewable energy. Topics touch on policy, finance, energy politics, case studies, breakthroughs, trends, electric vehicles, as well as the broader social, economic, and maybe even metaphysical dimensions of energy.


Here we are in 2019: Quilts as a metaphor for small roles in system change

Because it’s cold outside, but mostly for other reasons, I’ve been thinking about quilts, so I wanted to write about them as a reflection on the past year and in contemplation of the new one upon us. My family made one of those “barn quilts” that we see so much of in rural country for

Seeing Systems: Loren Cole, Inquiring Systems, and Winter Solstice

Friday, December 21st, 2018 at 5:23 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. That’s the moment the sun stands still way down south at the Tropic of Capricorn, about 26 degrees south latitude. Our star gives its majority light to the southern hemisphere and us our darkness in which to rest and reflect. The solar system is big

Distributed Generation vs Monopoly Utilities: WFAE Charlotte Talks

Hat’s off to Mike Collins and WFAE/Charlotte Talks for the debate that aired on Thursday, November 30th. Old foes Jim Warren of NC WARN and Duke Energy PR man Randy Wheeless meet again. Listen or watch the debate here. Fracking, pipelines, hog waste, externalities, profits and “show me the money”…oh my. I will publish a

Energy politics, local autonomy, and the emergency of now

AIRE does solar development and wayfinding for nonprofits. We certainly do not do partisan political advocacy and this “emergency” is no exception. However, the current moment seems to be such an extraordinary crux for all things solar, and in fact, all things just and sustainable, probably even all things human civilization, so with that disclaimer,

Poor Handmaids Solar Performance Update: Early Dividends

We’ve posted previously (here, here and here) on our admiration for the leadership of Poor Handmaid’s Center at Donaldson, up in Indiana as they took action to walk their talk on renewable energy and creation care. Adam Thada, the Director of Ecological Relations just issued the first Provincial report on the financial and ecological returns

With liberty and justice for all? Maybe not for young people and future generations says new U.S. Supreme Court

I co-authored a piece last December published in the North Carolina Bar Journal about the “Trial of the Century,” a bigtime atmospheric trust lawsuit. Since that article came out, the trial seemed to overcome each monkey wrench the government threw at it– various hail mary’s were batted down by federal judges and one by the

Clean Energy Credit Union: At long last, a finance cooperative just for clean energy

One of the obvious challenges in going solar, whether you’re a nonprofit organization or an aspiring green energy citizen, is paying for it. We’ve always said that solar is a finance problem, and it is, although there are conspiring barriers. I recently visited with Rick Tazelaar of the Clean Energy Credit Union at a Pearl

Cooperation: Can We Reimagine and Recreate it for Energy for Everyone?

I recently spent some time with Nathan Schneider in Boulder, Colorado. He’s a Media Studies professor at the University of Colorado Boulder and the author of a new book, Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition That is Shaping the Next Economy. I recommend it! Let me connect some dots as to how the book relates

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change circles the year 2030 on our calendar

With the wave of recent hurricanes, floods and wildfires as real reminders of what we value in the face of climate-related loss, yet another climate report was just released. This one, from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) bears special mention because of the worldwide stature of the IPCC and it’s decades-long work on

Why we do what we do: The moral action of community solar by and for people

AIRE’s core mission is to help nonprofit organizations and community-minded people develop solar projects at their schools, shelters, food systems, houses of worship, and other important public places. And, not just put solar up for show, mind you; our design principle is to push the benefits of ownership and control to that “community” and not