Energy Allies and Gregory King discuss his organization, TSK Energy Solutions, to learn how communities build grassroots climate resilience through their work.
1. Why is it integral in the climate crisis to advocate for community-based solutions?
2. What are some of the biggest takeaways you have learned throughout your career in the renewable energy space?
One of the biggest takeaways that have driven my point of view is that clean energy is not just about energy itself but also an unprecedented opportunity for economic development and creating jobs up and down the skill set spectrum for all different kinds of stakeholders. Can think of engineering, technicians, and construction folks. Historically, we have seen energy as either a producer or consumer or employer but as we have evolved, we now have this potential for consumers to be producers (community solar, rooftop solar, electrical storage, electrical vehicles, etc.). Gives a whole new paradigm in this climate economy where rather than paying for a utility bill you can actually get a check. To me, that’s really the core of why we need to uplift this work and why this is such an important opportunity for JEDI in this space because of the history of significant disparities in job opportunities and living wages. And this clean energy challenge is the opportunity to create millions of jobs where you can uplift underrepresented neighborhoods.For Environmental Justice communities, we won’t essentially get our piece of the pie for economic development and prosperity unless we fight for it, which is part of the reason why I am so bullish on advocating for legislation and policies and funding that help to address these historic disparities to make these systems of privilege a thing of the past.
3. How do your lived and shared experiences impact and show up in your work?
4. What has been your experience thus far with Solstice Initiative’s Community Advisory Board?
5. You have been incredibly helpful to Solstice Initiative throughout this process, what is it about our work that motivates you to be so engaged?
6. Is there anything else that you would like us to share with our supporters?
I want to remind folks of the need for more policy/advocacy work to create and carve out programs like the Clean Energy Equity Program. Unfortunately, the community solar portion of that bill got stripped out in the conference committee.
It’s essential to continue elevating people’s minds and be out there getting our government partners to create incentive programs that align with this idea of community ownership of solar. And that for me is the Call of Action! We can make it there but we just need to educate our legislators on why this is important and why this should be subsidized and funded by taxpayer dollars because it is a way of returning benefits and value back to the community.