RDA 7. Community-sourced renewable energy

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What is a Pattern

Pattern pages are used for working with RKC patterns. Patterns can be added by referencing them from the Pattern tab of Person, Social-Entity, Community of Place, or Community of Practice pages.

The Main section contains:

  • a few required fields, such as a ordering structure and usage mode, brief description, parent/sibling/offspring of Pattern and page curator(s);
  • optionally, one has the ability to display relevant images, give a full name, and longer description;
  • and, lastly, a summary of key relations which have a pattern on their "playlist" are provided here as well.
Pattern page for RDA 7. Community-sourced renewable energy pattern
Like water, energy also flows naturally.


If we truly reflect on our distance as a species, from our place in the larger scheme of things, we see plainly that our misappropriation and intensive manipulation of the energies available to us is responsible for the ensuing pathology of separation from the living web. The pathology is now so severe, that we have mobilized an entire industry that mines ancient sunlight from below ground (where it is safely stored), while destroying the atmosphere (and reliable climate patterns) above ground, which makes Life on Earth possible, in order to power (often questionable) (in)Human activity. The pathology of separation is further deepened when nuclear fission, the most costly and destructive of possible sources of energy, is considered as an alternative.

SDG Shortcomings

SDG 7 does not even pretend to move toward closing this gap, with its emphasis on "modern energy". Modern energy being the code phrase for not disturbing the global scale extractive and destructive activity that modern, industrial ever-intensifying energy use demands.

Living systems

Energy flows naturally from the sun, which powers the wind and water currents, climate systems, and the entire biosphere. Solar energy is transformed by plants and becomes available in ecosystems.

Every being, through their radical participation, both uses available energies as nutrients, and gives back compostable by-products, which living processes in ecosystems reintegrate. These become an available energy source for some other being. When any being dies, it too becomes available energy within the ecosystem.

Energy is freely available and distributed throughout the ecosystem, in a polycentric or acentric manner. There are no centralized power sources in living systems--except for the sun, which is an open source--and, therefore, there is no need for an extensive, expensive infrastructure (super grid) to transports energy. Living process, natural cycles and ecosystems do all the work.

Community-sourced, renewable energy

The aim of community-sourced, renewable energy provides the possibility for a complete re-boot of how we approach energy. Foremost, it releases communities from the stranglehold of big energy monopolies and their centralized power (literally) facilitated by ever-larger investments in a super-grid by acknowledging that energy is neither created or destroyed, but grown and/or harvested. Indeed, like production of food and material, the more we decentralize the collection of energy, the less energy we waste (up to 70%) to distribute it far and wide.

There is an intimate and obvious connection between this Aim and RDA 2 and RDA 12: the more food, fuel, fiber, feed, farmaceuticals we produce locally, the less we need to move food and materials (or ourselves) around. Aim 7 foregrounds the more generalized question of movement, of eliminating all the unnecessary and meaningless movement and refocusing our energy on meaningful transit, transfers and travel. Like perennial water, there will be marked differences in conditions that will determine the available possibilities in any particular place. And, not every place is viable for Human settlements and intensification of Human activities (see Human ecosystems).

Community-sourced, renewable energy, as do all RDAs, requires the development of a collective capacity. This Aim places the power and responsibility squarely on communities and the self-governance of their commons, to decide and design how they can most regeneratively grow, harvest and employ energy. Governance of energy as a commons, then becomes a developmental question for any community: How best do we want to use our energies in ways that regenerates our community and ecosystems we participate in? This question opens the door to a larger and multifaceted conceptualization of energies: thermal, kinetic, ambiental, nutritive, social, cultural, caring, emotional, mental, spiritual, and which ones we employ to power what facets of Human endeavors.

As with all commons, it behooves communities to harvest energies in ways that renewable over the long-term, that regenerate rather than degrade their ecosocial contexts, and that do not create dependencies on energy- and material-intensive technologies. How we think about, harvest and use energy... how we integrate to power our lives, will to a large degree make all the difference between merely surviving and full-on thriving as Human communities.

Pattern generators

This aim could be generative of the following patterns in any Community of Place of any scale.

  • universal access affordable, reliable, renewable, community-sourced and regenerative community-scale energy [7.1-3, a-b]
  • redesign transit/mobility systems to eliminate need for fossil fuels [7.4a]
  • encourage and engage in mindful transportation practices [7.4b]
  • experiment with and invest in appropriate technologies and low-tech, people-powered approaches [7.5]
  • displace all other forms of ecologically-destructive energy sources [7.6]

Note: SDG target linkages in brackets.

Ordering & Usage

Ordering Structures Usage Modes
  • Pathways (aim-pathway-practice)
  • aim


Persons: -none-
Initiatives: -none-

Resolution of Forces & Use Cases

Activating Force: Energy is the economic fuel of the global societal economy. And because economic growth is an imperative in the current economic paradigm, then consumption of energy also needs to increase. However, this energy production, transportation and consumption has tremendous ecological and social negative consequences.
Restraining Force: Communities are starting to put a stop to energy extraction and mining processes in their places (Not In My Back Yard), questioning the so called cleaned alternative energies. Also, many communities are redesigning their territories and individuals their own lives to enable remote working.
Reconciling Force: Fundamental to decrease energy consumption where avoidable through better design (of housing, transportation, etc...) which will push for local and community owned energy production and transportation facilities.

Utilization & More


About Utilization Tab...

The Utilization tab shows which Processes--case study, story, journey, curriculum, research study, etc--this Pattern is applied in.

Interventions expressing RDA 7. Community-sourced renewable energy pattern:


About Process Tab...

Process Patterns tab is meant as a staging area for listing/creating Patterns that make part of this Process Pattern.

Patterns associated to RDA 7. Community-sourced renewable energy Process Pattern:


About Narratives Tab...

The Narratives tab allows for various types of narrative about the Pattern, any relevant research, a review about its use, etc.

Narrative elements created from RDA 7. Community-sourced renewable energy:


About Essence Tab...

The Essence tab allows for anyone in RKC to comment on what makes a pattern unique along three different dimensions:
   Aliveness: What energizes this being that really makes it come alive, beyond the functional of everyday existence.
   Offering: The unique value a pattern offers in order to bring a higher-order of viability and vitality to, or evolve a particular system they are working to transform (this is context specific).
   Potential: A tendency in a being that this pattern is continually striving to manifest into existence.
Over time, this feature can offer deeper insights to what each pattern brings to this co-creative space.

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