ICA eDigest - May 2011 - Rifkin's warning: act now on grid 'or risk survival'

01 May 2011

CO-OPERATIVES are an integral part of Jeremy Rifkin's strategy to revolutionise the energy market. According to Rifkin, a leading international economist, EU policy advisor and activist, taskforces must be set up urgently by co-operatives to establish a plan to implement his renewable energy regime.

"We need to see this moving very aggressively in the coming 12 to 24 months because we are running out of time," Rifkin said in an interview with the ICA Digest in April 2011. 

"Fossil fuel prices are so volatile, nuclear has gone, we have climate change right on our doorstep now … we've got to take action." Mr Rifkin has written master energy plans for the European cities of Rome, Monaco, Utrecht and San Antonio, Texas, which will see them positioned as the first post-carbon cities in the world.

He says the survival of the human race may be at risk unless we can all adapt to life in a post-fossil fuel world. He sees a future whereby energy will one day be shared between people via the convergence of the internet and wireless technologies. Citing as an example businesses and buildings which produce, collect and store renewable energy he said such energy could easily be shared across an intelligent grid system, what he calls an "inter-grid".

"Later this year there will be prep work done to ensure we can have these meetings on every continent," Mr Rifkin said, adding imperative attendees should include banking co-operatives, producer co-operatives and residential co-operatives to begin structuring how they will "scale laterally" to get the ball rolling. He was the author of the European Union's five pillar energy policy that was enshrined in 2007. The first pillar is shifting to renewable energy, the second is transforming buildings into micro-power plants which can then be used to collect energy on site; the third is deploying the renewable energy throughout the infrastructure to store intermittent energy; whilst the fourth is transforming the power grid using internet technology into an "inter-grid" and the fifth, a fleet of cars that can recharge on the "inter-grid".

Get the ICA's May 2011 Edigest