The liberated and self-managed socio-cultural space (ESLA) Eko is a social center that since its opening seven years ago in Carabanchel, district of the city of Madrid, concentrates activities of self-management and mutual support around housing, education, food sovereignty , culture, feminism, anti-racism, social and political action in general and yes, also renewable energies. Today a crowdfunding campaign is born that aims to provide the entire space (five plants) of solar energy with a facility of 6,000 watts and the support of a generator to achieve energy self-management.
6,000 watts? 6 kilowatts for five plants? Yes, because it is a non-residential building, where above all you need light and a little heat in winter to develop inside from the assemblies of the Housing Group of the Popular Assembly of Carabanchel 15M (engine of infinite paralyzes of evictions, among other actions) to those of feminist and libertarian groups, workshops of taichi and theater, swing classes and school support or the distribution of food between consumer groups and families in the neighborhood.
Punctually the energy needs are increased with a special event with concerts included and availability of cooking and cold drinks, but the people in charge of this center and the #LuzParaElEko project have everything under control to cover them with those 6 kw. In the worst case, a gasoline generator will support. All these needs are contemplated in the crowdfunding campaign that Eko launched today through the Goteo.org platform .
You need an optimum of 15,000 euros to get before June 29, although from the Eko say that among the first people closest to the space and the campaign have managed to commit and 3,000 euros that rely on materialize in the early hours of crowdfunding .
Pioneering photovoltaic installation in a social center
It would be the first time that a space of these dimensions and characteristics , squatted and completely self-managed, achieved energy self-sufficiency with a photovoltaic self-consumption installation. There are similar precedents for energy sovereignty with Errakaleor, a neighborhood with housing in Vitoria / Gasteiz; and Garaldea, a farm and residence in Chinchón (Madrid), but not in a fully urban area and exclusively as a social center.
Currently the space already works with solar energy, but it is insufficient to cover all the needs described and some more. For example, has a free exchange store where some people wear clothes, accessories and even baby carts that they no longer use and others, or the same ones, take what they need. There is also a library, a reading point, a children’s area and rehearsal rooms for musical groups. It is impossible to cover all this with the current 300 watts.
Before the cut of water and light, “strength with autonomy, self-management and environmental struggle”
The cut of light that the space suffered a few months ago was the trigger to embark on the adventure of self-consumption, as more than a year ago it was the cutting of the water supply which allowed installing a system of catchment from the rain that Now it makes them self-sufficient in this matter. “These cuts are what have decided us to completely dispense with companies associated with oligopoly and fierce capitalism, which go against the free and free distribution of public goods such as water and energy,” they say from the Eko.
“Make weakness a strength with autonomy, self-management and environmental struggle”, also summarizes its spokespersons. They are also aware that, due to the age of the building (it was a commissary, hence the origin of the name), it requires an energy renewal linked above all to efficient lighting, which replaces incandescent and fluorescent bulbs with LED lamps, but also the wiring and the pictures of all the plants.