In Venezuela the passage by referendum of a new Constitution
in 1999 has inspired a
growth of cooperatives from 1900 in 2001 to 10,000 in July 2003.
There land is being redistributed, womens's development banks are being funded,
and soldiers are building tens of thousands of houses and
aiding in Mega Markets of food at discount prices.
In April 2004 Venezuela banned transgenic crops from its territory,
stopping a 500,000-acre project by the Monsanto Corporation.
Nearby in Latin America, indigenous farmers in Bolivia.
Peru and Ecuador have successfully fought the Bechtel
and ChevronTexaco corporations respectively in the 21st century.
There's also the example of Zapatista resistance and democracy in Chiapas,
evident to the world since 1994.
Movements for renewable energy are also growing. By 1995 19 German
cities with a total population of 5 million were offering rate-based
incentives to promote installation of photovoltaic cells—that is,
Cooperative, non-governmental eco-banks in Germany
(funded with more than $100 million from members),
Belgium, Denmark, Spain, and Sweden
are creating public-power free of fossil fuels.
In Denmark agricultural cooperatives and individual farmers have combined
under state direction since 1981 to produce 1000 megawatts of
wind-power annually—while California's wind-powered generation of
electricity has stagnated since 1986 due to withdrawal of funding and
The Global Windpower Conference in Chicago in March 2004
Wind power has expanded at an average of 28% annually over the past five years.
The United States added 1,687 megawatts (MW) of clean,
renewable wind energy capacity;
Europe added 5,467 MW during the same time period.
The European Wind Energy Association predicts:
a cost reduction in wind electricity from 3.79 e cents/kWh
to a level of 3.03 e cents/kWh by 2010.
By 2020, the figure will have fallen to 2.45 e cents.
This compares with the U.S. national average price
of electricity of 7.56 cents per kilowatt-hour
in April 2004.
U.S installed capacity (megawatts) 1981-2003.
U.S. windpower more than doubled between 2000 and 2003,
while even greater increases in Europe accounted for 60%
of global growth in 2003.