Saturday, May 4, 2013

Back to the Village (A Lesson from Spain)

Read the article:

Solar Dreams, Spanish Realities
"In my opinion we can use solar PV energy, as far as it is available and we can afford it for specific applications," says Prieto. But he now views solar PV systems as "non-renewable energy systems that can only capture a portion of the renewable energies temporarily."

Moreover there is no way solar power can sustain "our present wasteful way of living."

In Spain where nearly a quarter of the workforce sits idle and political unrest smolders in the cities, there is much talk about "La vida buena" or what the French call "decroissance" or degrowth.

The grassroots movement is all about living better by consuming less and sharing more. Prieto suspects the future may be determined more by behavior change than by investments in renewables.

"In general terms, I would suggest we make every possible effort to move towards a lower consumption and lower mobility society," sums up the 62-year-old.

"We need to deurbanize and localize as much as it is possible, and to return to the countryside, as much as it is possible, and to use more animal draft force."

When asked for advice on what other nations should do, Prieto thoughtfully pauses.

"It is difficult to give advice." - Mr. Prieto

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