PACE provides one of the most promising municipal energy financing tools and it’s been adopted by 22 states. But resistance from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has put the brakes on new programs. This presentation explores the rationale, the process, and the promise of PACE. Continue reading
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Distributed generation (DG) puts energy production close to where it is consumed, often on people’s homes or in their backyards. But just having a rooftop solar module doesn’t mean that every kilowatt-hour produced from sunlight is used in the home. In fact, it’s often less than one-third, with the remaining energy production flowing out into… Continue reading
Residential solar PV in Los Angeles is getting a huge boost from a new community solar buying group. With typical residential installation costs for crystalline solar PV, residents would see a 20-year payback on a solar PV installation or a minimal 2% IRR on a 25-year investment (without factoring an inverter replacement). But what about… Continue reading
Chattanooga’s publicly owned fiber broadband network, EPBFi, is now offering the fastest broadband connections available anywhere in the US. Chattanooga operates the nations largest muni broadband network, with incredibly fast speeds at affordable rates.
The network operates in many nearby rural communities as well, ensuring that no one is left behind. Read the full coverage at MuniNetworks.org.
Decentralized renewable energy doesn’t top the climate and energy agenda in Europe or the United States, but for very different reasons. In Europe, there has already been substantial development of decentralized renewable energy, and policy makers have moved on to discussions of 100% renewable energy. In the United States, by contrast, well-heeled interest groups tend to dominate renewable energy discourse, and American energy policy reflects their paradigm of centralized generation dependent on high-voltage transmission lines.
The Electric Power Board (EPB) of Chattanooga, Tennessee, has announced a citywide 1 gigabit per second (1 Gbps) broadband tier, by far the fastest citywide broadband tier available in the U.S. By the end of the year, 170,000 households and businesses in the region will have access to the fastest speeds available – at affordable rates. Christopher Mitchell, the Director of the Telecommunications as Commons Initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), recently visited Chattanooga to tour and discuss their community-owned fiber network. Continue reading
A new report by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), Community Solar Power: Obstacles and Opportunities , examines nine community solar projects, the policies that made them possible, and the (substantial)barriers that remain. Successful community solar power projects in Colorado, Maryland, and North Carolina are knocking down the price of residential-scale solar photovoltaics (PV) by… Continue reading
Community solar power has the promise of making solar more affordable, bringing sun-powered electricity to renters or people with shady roofs, and dispersing the economics benefits of renewable energy generation. But while a few pioneering projects have broken through the barriers to community solar power, the rules, incentives, and policies for solar PV restrict the potential of community solar. Next week, ILSR will release its report on community solar.
Over 30 cities, towns and unincorporated areas have formed a community choice aggregation program in Marin County, CA. The program will provide ratepayers with significantly higher levels of renewable energy at rates comparable to their previous PG&E electric provider. Continue reading