Berliners are preparing to vote in a referendum to have the Berlin city government take over managing the city’s electric system. Polls show over 60% of voters favor the plan.
Berliners vote on Sunday in a referendum to take over the German capital’s electricity supply and establish a new, democratically-controlled power utility, aiming to generate energy from renewable sources while keeping prices affordable.
The referendum is the latest in a wave of initiatives to nationalise energy production in Germany, after citizens in the country’s second-biggest city, Hamburg, voted in September to return their grid to civic ownership. Grids in both cities are operated by Vattenfall, one of Europe’s largest electricity generators.
More and more people in the US and Europe are tired of unreliable and polluting electrical service.
The Berliner Energietisch campaign wants to bring the grid back under public ownership in January 2015, founding a utility that will generate renewable energy locally. Over 90 per cent of Vattenfall’s electricity generation is from fossil fuels, mainly from lignite. The board of the proposed public utility would include members directly elected by Berliners. [emphasis mine]
Germans obviously believe that they can do a better job of providing their own electricity than a huge corporation can. I think they are right.