Are there any cities in Europe that own their own electric utility? In the US you do have a few. A smaller entity could try some experiments tailored to the needs of a district or neighborhood perhaps in ways the giant state power utilities would not want to do.
Not sure about the rest of Europe, but in Germany there are quite some cities owning their power grid. There was even the case of Berlin buying back its own electrical grid, initiated by a citizen referendum in 2012 and now (since May 2019) it’s finally done (more details in English).
I am speculating, but I can picture how a Citizen based initiative could get some traction with the city where they might not have so many lobbyist to deal with. A large regulated utility has public meetings, but the ones I have attended are dominated by lobbyists and lawyers. The citizens groups get heard; they have their say, but in the end it is the lobbyist who show up for every meeting. And it is they who almost always prevail.
I remember a part of Walkaway describing as a walkaway settlement “pulsed” with the incoming renewable energy. It “sped up” when the sun was shining and the wind was blowing, buzzing with activities; and slowed its metabolism in in darkness and windlessness. People would work hardest in high metabolism phases, when all their tools and machines were fully charged; and retreated to board games, sleeping and hanging out in low metabolism ones. It seems a more efficient way to do things!
Thanks so much for all these excellent pointers and links. So much good stuff, my reading list is growing with every reply
[Sent from a mobile, please apologize the brevity and typos.]