Often around the idea of renewable energy the emphasis seems to be on big centralized projects, new inventions, and other ideas that can bring big headlines.
However, in this emphasis on the big and shiny it is easy to ignore the importance of the grinding work of putting community-empowering, distributed energy projects on the ground.
In this way, I found Eureka's unfortunate disdain in the comic this week for the hard work of people who are "only" able to help power one place especially disturbing. It's nice to dream big, but people have real lives that they are trying to power, and expecting them to be involved in powering more is not only unrealistic, it is counterproductive.
If we are truly going to fix the energy problems of today, we need people around the world, in every community, to be involved.
Not just watching giant wind farms go up, but putting whatever skills they have into fixing the problem. Whether putting a solar panel on their business or home, financing projects through the community bank they work in, working professionally as an installer, or any other necessary skill, we need all hands on deck.
I'd like to mention, as my example, some great, inspiring people I have met in my work
with in Exeter, NH on a clean energy project with the local school district
. Whether the amazing ideas of the guys at Revolution Energy
(Clay Mitchell, Mike Behrmann, Lee Consavage), the truly visionary elected officials, teachers, principals, and officials who have embraced the project, the students who are excited by the idea of clean energy both because of its environmental importance and the job prospects, or the various project contractors, I have been both amazed and humbled by the number of people it will truly take to fix our future.
All of these people have the big idea of doing the hard work of the future, the grinding work that is required to go building by building, neighborhood by neighborhood, city by city, country by country, until we conquer this problem in all its importance and complexity.