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How This Small Town In Mexico Uses Solar Power For Economic Justice

By Aimee Lutkin

The world has reached a tipping point for sources of renewable power, like wind and solar energy. This isn't just recognition of the effects climate change is having on the environment; on a practical level, a lot of this technology is much cheaper. That means many corporations are ready to invest in solar power, and where there is corporate interest, there is the potential for exploitation and harm.

Building solar panels and wind panels requires land, and many companies are looking for areas that don't necessarily have much economic value. Rural areas, in particular, are vulnerable to land grabbing, which is harmful to the people living there. Inhabitat reports that one town in Mexico called Ucareo is experimenting with ways communities like theirs can protect themselves from predatory energy companies.

They've started a GoFundMe for a project called Cooperen, a community-owned solar power plant. In partnership with an organization called Laboratorio de Investigación en Control Reconfigurable, or LiCore, they're building 6.4-kilowatt peak preliminary solar plant that can then be sold to the national electric utility.