A new study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) reinforces the findings of a 2009 report by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR). The ILSR report, Energy Self-Reliant States, concluded that all 50 states could generate at least 25 percent of their electricity needs from in-state renewable energy while 31 could generate over 100 percent. Continue reading
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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
On episode 24 of This Week in Energy, John Farrell discusses PACE, oil spills and smart grids with hosts Bob Tregilus and Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield. Continue reading
Twenty states now allow cities and counties to finance energy efficiency retrofits and on-site renewable energy generation and repay the loan with a property tax assessment. Five municipalities launched Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs in the past two years and these programs have spent $37.5 million to help enable close to 2,000 voluntary residential retrofits. Read on to see how these programs have performed and what upcoming municipal energy finance programs should consider.
Property assessed clean energy (PACE) does not make energy efficiency the enemy of solar PV. Instead, it helps optimize the use of solar PV for participating property owners so that an optimally sized solar PV array that is partially paid for through the energy savings from efficiency improvements. Continue reading
A legislative proposal in Connecticut would cut their existing renewable portfolio standard nearly in half but prioritize in-state generation. Backers of the rollback say that renewable energy is mainly bought from outside the state to meet the current standard. The change in the RPS boosts financing tools for in-state power as part of the plan. One interesting quote, "we want projects, not simply percentages."
In the absence of federal action, states are leading the way toward renewable energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and empowering local communities to be more energy self-reliant. This presentation to the Environmental Grantmakers Association highlights the model policies for moving forward. Continue reading
A coalition of utilities have announced their opposition to a series of 765-kilovolt transmission lines, more than double the capacity of the current 345-kilovolt lines. The lines are proposed as a way to send electricity from the Dakotas, Iowa and Minnesota to Chicago and points east. "If Iowa wants to build a transmission line for their energy, we have no objection. But Iowa or the Midwest should pay for it," said Ian Bowles, secretary of energy and environmental affairs in Massachusetts. New England states want to produce their own wind energy from offshore farms. Continue reading
Five Midwest states (Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio) could get nearly all their electricity from wind, according to updated maps from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR). New data from Wind Powering America mean that 32 states could get all of their electricity from in-state resources, even more than initially revealed in ILSR’s ground-breaking report last fall, Energy Self-Reliant States. The revised estimates come from the National Renewable Energy Lab’s Wind Powering America project and are the first nationwide update since the early 1990s. Continue reading