Global Energy Commons

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Vasilis Kostakis, Alex Pazaitis et al.:

"Ref. [46] propose four different possible outcomes for these social struggles over the P2P infrastructures, stemming from the combinations of whether control will be central or distributed along with whether the goal will be the expansion of capital or the benefit of the commons. On the one side, there can be found a new form of capitalism.

One adapted to the new techno-economic paradigm brought forth by ICT [61]. This distributed capitalism takes advantage of P2P infrastructures in order to exact profits and ensure its continued survival. On the other side, we witness the new commons-oriented practices, also made possible by the same infrastructures. Within this framework, our model falls into the distributed control of commons-oriented P2P infrastructures. That of “resilient communities” according to [46]. These communities, emerging around the world, are poised against capitalist growth and strive for sustainability, energy efficiency and environmental awareness [49]. Movements like the Transition Network are akin to the presented model in this paper as they strive for a holistic shift from today's unsustainable consumer lifestyle.

For our “energy commons” to become a global reality, such communities need to develop a conscience that will accommodate such a leap. The energy system needs to attain the traits that made the Internet (and the P2P infrastructure in general) so innovative. A turn towards the spirit of sustainability and cooperation promoted by CBBP appears like a viable vehicle for change. The energy system proposed in this paper anticipates a similar shift from traditional industrial production of scale to small-scale, local production of scope enabled by desktop manufacturing technologies and CBPP [45]. So the model would aim to cover not just the domestic consumption but also energy for the production of goods. Energy that usually is outsourced to the market of goods and consequently fed by another energy production source. It could be argued that the seeds for this change are currently emerging. As was mentioned already, a step towards open hardware is being taken. Open source technology enables the unrestricted and free adoption and adjustment of hardware designs according to one's resources and needs, thus promoting knowledge diffusion, innovation and cooperation [63]. There are several examples of open designs for energy production infrastructure available. For instance, the Rural Electrification Research Group of the NTUA has developed a cost-effective and fairly easy to reproduce wind turbine [48] and a pico-hydro turbine based on designs that were already available on the Internet, while [14] make a compelling case for the advantages of open source development for PV." (

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