Electricity Commons – Toward a New Industrial Society

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Electricity Commons – Toward a New Industrial Society
by Julio Lambing


This paper is a result of the workshop „Energy Infrastructure as Commons“ (Berlin, 6. April 2011), organised by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the European Business Council for Sustainable Energy (e5). It is published in the book „The Wealth of the Commons: A World Beyond Market & State“ (ed. by David Bollier & Silke Helfrich; Levellers Press, 2012) and financed by the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

From the beginning the modern energy industry was shaped by enterprises. They played a leading role in the development, distribution and commercial use of electrical technology. As a result of complex technological and political develop­ments, a centralized and at the same time networked production model asserted itself. The logic of economies of scale1 and “balanced load management” describes the technological rationality of this process: the larger and more diversified the number of electricity consumers, the more the different user behaviors balance peaks in demand. And the larger the power plants that generate the electricity, the more effectively it can be produced and the lower are the costs per kilowatt hour generated.

You will find here an online version of the article.