Energy and democracy

In current energy systems, the right of people to take decisions is not respected and energy decisions are taken without any involvement of the people affected. In order to democratize and help establish a decentralized or distributed energy system in ways that are efficient, safe, clean and renewable, it is important for a society to recognize a set of basic energy rights. These rights are:

• the right to know the origin of the energy one uses;

• the right to know the ecological and social effects of the manner in which energy is supplied to each final user of energy services;

• the right to capture the energy sources that exist in the place where one lives;

• the right to generate one’s own energy;

• the right to fair access to power networks and grids;

• the right to introduce into power networks energy generated in-situ;

• the right to a fair remuneration for the energy introduced into networks.

These rights have to be matched by a set of basic responsibilities:

• the responsibility to find out information;

• the responsibility to ask for information;

• the responsibility to generate energy with the most efficient and clean generation technologies available;

• the responsibility to use the most efficient end-use technologies available;

• the responsibility to conserve and use the generated energy with common sense, avoiding any kind of waste;

• the responsibility to limit oneself in the use of any form of energy;

• the responsibility to exercise solidarity with those underprivileged societies that have no or limited access to a clean means of energy generation as well as its final use.

Guaranteeing these rights should be one of the tasks to which governments give absolute priority. Exercising these responsibilities should be considered the fundamental duty of the responsible persons who depend on the sun as the source of energy. By adapting lifestyles to the solar energy flows (both direct solar energy and its indirect forms), people will discover that fewer costs of every kind will have to be borne in order to sustain life and prosperity on planet Earth.

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