Community Power: Decentralized Renewable Energy in California by Al Weinrub

This classic policy paper, a project of the Local Clean Energy Alliance, is still available!

Here is what was said about Community Power:

“One of the great side effects of moving to renewable power is that we will replace vulnerable, brittle centralized systems that are too big to fail with spread out democratic energy sources small enough to be resilient. Community Power makes a compelling case for moving in this direction.”--Bill McKibben, Co-founder of; author of a dozen books on the environment, including The End of Nature.

Community Power is a must read for anyone interested in the myriad of benefits (jobs, lower prices, energy security, sustainability, economic development) that can be derived from local decentralized electricity generation. Decentralized power is truly “Power to the People.” This publication provides a clear explanation of how and why our communities have so much to gain from local decentralized power and so much to lose if big energy corporations continue to control our energy resources.”--Angelina Galiteva, founder of Renewables 100 Policy Institute; chairperson of the World Council for Renewable Energy (WCRE).

More Acclaim for Community Power

Community Power argues that local, decentralized generation of electricity offers many benefits to California’s communities relative to large central-station solar or wind power plants in remote areas.

It identifies the factors that favor local decentralized generation of electricity: its economic benefits to local communities, its cost-effectiveness, its minimization of environmental impacts, its potential to rapidly meet renewable energy targets, and its increased system security. The paper also identifies obstacles to local renewable power and outlines policies that can promote its development.

Community Power reflects the reality that all electric power is not equal: the impact of electric power production on our ecosystem and on our communities depends on the economic, environmental, political, and social conditions under which the electricity is produced. And from this perspective, the impacts on our communities of remote central-station renewable power and local decentralized renewable power are very different indeed. 

To get the full story, download Community Power by clicking here.

Community Power is meant to inform community activists, environmental justice advocates, labor unions, municipal governments, legislative assistants, commercial building owners, and businesses of the potential of local renewable power to revitalize communities. It is a backgrounder for the ongoing work of the Local Clean Energy Alliance, which calls for uniting a broad spectrum of groups to advocate for local renewable power as key to economic development and clean energy jobs.