Blog, Papers & Publications

What is solar for? AIRE’s new plan for cooperative, sustainable communities solar

This guiding question borrows from the title of a collection of essays, “WHAT ARE people FOR” by agrarian writer, Wendell Berry. It is provocative because it calls our values into question and challenges assumptions. Our conversations and activities at AIRE have recently asked a similar question out of the same vein–

What is solar for?

Is it for profit or for people?

We’ve always believed it’s for people but lately, have been refining and recalibrating our theory and practice to account for the complex of pandemic realities. Thus, we’ve felt the need to more deliberately situate our solar work in resilience, transition, and cooperation and with the organizations on the front lines of that space. This calls for something new.

Here are our thoughts on making the road (solar) by walking. “What is solar for?” (AIRE Version
1 – July 30th, 2020)

Based on our experiences with the often plodding pace of solar development at nonprofit institutions, based on the necessity to seize the moment of opportunity in uncertain times, and based on the success of the Burton Street Community Peace Gardens’ solar project, we’ve got some ideas.

Executive Summary coming soon.

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