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About John Farrell

John Farrell directs the Energy Self-Reliant States and Communities program at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and he focuses on energy policy developments that best expand the benefits of local ownership and dispersed generation of renewable energy. More

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wind turbines sunrise - flickr David Clarke
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jul 27, 2015

A Rising Wind: Better Tech Means Greater State Wind Potential

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/a-rising-wind-better-tech-means-greater-state-wind-potential/

For states looking to reduce their reliance on dirty, imported energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory brings good news on the wind. In a May 2015 report, significantly more wind power potential was found in nearly every state thanks to advancing turbine technology. In 2015, 40 states could produce 50% or more of their annual electricity… Continue reading

farrell and rabago
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jul 21, 2015

Is Socialism What’s Stopping a Fair Value for Solar?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/is-socialism-whats-stopping-a-fair-value-for-solar/

Complete nonsense. The most socialistic thing I’ve ever heard. That’s just two quotes from a value of solar conversation between ILSR’s John Farrell and Karl Rábago of the Pace Energy and Climate Center that took place online on July 8, 2015. More and more people are installing solar, significantly reducing their purchase of electricity from… Continue reading

topaz utility scale solar - flickr  Pacific Southwest Region USFWS
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jul 17, 2015

Utility Solar May Cost Less, But It’s Also Worth Less

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/utility-solar-may-cost-less-but-its-also-worth-less/

A new report released this week asserts that utility-scale solar is much more economical than small-scale solar. The clear implication is that we should let incumbent utilities build or buy solar from large-scale arrays instead of allowing customers to generate their own power. There are several reasons to seriously question the mistaken assertion that big… Continue reading

coexist with solar.001
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jul 16, 2015

Solar for All: An Article of Faith – Episode 26 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/solar-for-all-an-article-of-faith-episode-26-of-local-energy-rules/

Minnesota’s community solar garden program may be the envy of the nation — once the utility’s stall tactics have been stopped — but it needs a little help to fulfill the vision of bringing solar to all. That’s where Julia Nerbonne, executive director of Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light, comes in. In June 2015, John… Continue reading

rooftop solar house germany - Tim Fuller flickr
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 25, 2015

Solar Net Metering a Subsidy to Utilities?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/solar-net-metering-a-subsidy-to-utilities/

When Robert Nohavec of Park City, Utah; Jabbar Graham from Cherry Hill, New Jersey; and Don Born, of Waldoboro, Maine installed solar on their homes, they had something unexpected in common. They were all giving back to their electric company and their community. That’s because solar energy systems tend to provide more value to the… Continue reading

WordItOut-word-cloud-935200
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 22, 2015

Unanswered Questions about the Public Rooftop Revolution

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/unanswered-questions-about-the-public-rooftop-revolution/

At the beginning of June 2015, ILSR released its Public Rooftop Revolution report, which described how cities across the nation put the shine on municipal rooftops with more than 5,000 MW of solar. That 5,000 MW is as much as one-quarter of all solar installed in the U.S. to date — and many cities could… Continue reading

kansas city solar potential map
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 22, 2015

Solar Potential on Public Buildings in Kansas City

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/solar-potential-on-public-buildings-in-kansas-city/

How much solar is installed on municipal buildings? How much could be installed? As we discovered in writing ILSR’s Public Rooftop Revolution report—the latest in the Rooftop Revolution series—nobody had the answer, for almost every city we contacted. But in the course of the research, three cities answered our call to analyze their rooftop solar potential… Continue reading

Minneapolis Solar Potential Municipal buildings map
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 15, 2015

Solar Potential on Public Buildings in Minneapolis

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/solar-potential-on-public-buildings-in-minneapolis/

How much solar is installed on municipal buildings? How much could be installed? As we discovered in writing ILSR’s Public Rooftop Revolution report—the latest in the Rooftop Revolution series—nobody had the answer, for almost every city we contacted. But in the course of the research, three cities answered our call to analyze their rooftop solar potential… Continue reading

postcards from florida screengrab
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 12, 2015

Dear Hawaii: Read Your Mail Before Your Utility Sells Out

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/dear-hawaii-read-your-mail-before-your-utility-sells-out/

If your electricity—generated from imported oil—is the most expensive in the country and your solar resource is terrific, you’d expect your electric company to be making great strides toward renewable energy. On Hawai’i, the progress toward clean energy is in limbo, because island’s largest electric utility—largely owned by islanders—is likely to be acquired by mainland… Continue reading

us power plant capacity additions quarterly ILSR 2015-0610
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 10, 2015

Distributed Solar Surges in Early 2015

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/distributed-solar-surges-in-early-2015/

Distributed solar was 13% of all new power plant capacity in 2014, and 2015 is starting off even bigger. Distributed residential and commercial solar installations surged 45% over the same period last year and accounted for 35% of all new power plant capacity in the first quarter of 2015. The following chart shows the quarterly… Continue reading