Distributed Wind Energy Association’s Support of Energy Justice: Black Lives Matter

July 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed major weaknesses in our economy and deep-seated inequalities in our society, hitting the most vulnerable people the hardest.

In advancing distributed clean energy, DWEA is working to recognize and address systemic energy injustices with resilient local resources prioritizing healthy and vibrant communities. DWEA members are working to ensure disadvantaged community members have affordable access to distributed energy resources, directly benefit from distributed wind energy generation, and have a voice in decisions. All DWEA members are invited to highlight ways the distributed wind industry can further support economic and racial justice.

Distributed wind energy can play a strong role in reducing inequality in our communities, providing well-paid jobs, and supporting a just economy to address the climate crisis.

Ideas for specific near-term actions:

  • Strengthen diversity of association and speakers at events; build relationships with organizations led by people of color such as AABE, 100% Network, Grid Alternatives
  • Enhance consumer protection and site selection to support cost-effective wind turbine purchasing and ownership (urban rooftops – buyer beware)
  • Identify and coordinate with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs)[1]  that are located in areas with good potential DW markets
  • Host learning session with HBCU leadership (Energy Managers, Business Managers, Sustainability Coordinators, etc.) to highlight opportunities and business case for distributed wind at nearby facilities
  • Work with NREL and private industry to make internships available to under-represented inner-city high school and HBCU students with an interest in science and technology, energy generation, renewable energy, etc.
  • Work with NREL to sponsor a competition among HBCU teams of students to build the best scaled down versions of wind turbine components and entire turbines.  Part of the scoring criteria would be how well the teams are able to quantitatively demonstrate performance.
  • Other? Please send ideas to Heather c/o info@distributedwind.org[