Electric Co-ops- Mixed Blessings

Electric co-ops have an important presence across the US.  On the one hand, they maintain a significant awareness of the basic and essential alternative business method consistent with the advantages of democracy.  However, they have also developed in conjunction with a particular format and technology that is associated with an politically conservative policy.

     For example, a 2009 leglislation reveals their adherence to fossil fuel technologies, and the conventional economic accounting that doubts the cost advantages of renewables.


    The electric co-ops also lobbied and gained an exemption from restrictions on certain kinds of derivatives contracts.  I don't want to judge prematurely, but certainly think that this kind of arrangement deserves more specificity.  The abuse of high risk derivatives has simply been too irresponsible.



      By contrast, the historical development of renewables, particularly in Denmark, followed by Germany, with other successful examples in Holland and England, demonstrates the effective efforts of co-operative enterprise.  Paul Gipe has done some good writing on the subject