Back to top Jump to featured resources

Viewing all Articles Page 136 of 272

kopievonbild2021ohneblauekisten.jpg
Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | 3 Comments | Updated on Jun 23, 2011

Why Publishers, Not Amazon, Should Set Book Prices

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/why-publishers-not-amazon-should-set-book-prices/

After winning a high-stakes standoff against Amazon last year, publishers are now setting the prices that retailers can charge for their e-books.

At first blush, one might assume that such price-fixing would result in higher prices. But the evidence from more than a dozen European countries, where laws have long prohibited selling both print and electronic books below a set price, clearly shows that publisher-mandated pricing saves consumers money. It also fosters a more lively and competitive book industry, with far more books published and many more independent bookstores open than in countries where big retailers control pricing. Continue reading

cbmap9
Article filed under The Public Good, The Public Good News | Written by David Morris | 1 Comment | Updated on Jun 23, 2011

Why Is Mighty Time Warner Scared Of Tiny Salisbury, North Carolina?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/why-is-mighty-time-warner-scared-of-tiny-salisbury-north-carolina/

Thanks to Christopher Mitchell, Director of the Telecommunications as Commons Initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance for contributing to this article.  You can, and should follow his reporting on public networks at www.muninetworks.org. Conservatives would have us believe the public sector can’t compete with the private sector. The private sector itself knows better. Nowhere… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 23, 2011

The Electric System: Inflection Point

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/electric-system-inflection-point/

A serialized version of our new report, Democratizing the Electricity System, Part 1 of 5 The 20th century of electricity generation was characterized by ever larger and more distant central power plants.  But a 21st century technological dynamic offers the possibility of a dramatically different electricity future: millions of widely dispersed renewable energy plants and… Continue reading

Pearl St. in Boulder, CO
Article, ILSR Press Room, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by admin | No Comments | Updated on Jun 22, 2011

John Farrell talks distributed generation and local authority on Boulder, CO’s KGNU

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/john-farrell-talks-distributed-generation-and-local-authority-boulder-cos-kgnu/

I was on the air with local attorney and renewable energy guru Susan Perkins, interviewed by host Duncan Campbell.  A great conversation about Boulder’s effort to municipalize in order to have more control over its electricity system and energy sources. Click for show listing (and hit the tiny, blue play button) or just download an… Continue reading

Solar panel installation
Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 22, 2011

Great Battle Over the Scale of Our Electricity System is Underway Argues a New Report

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/great-battle-over-scale-our-electricity-system-underway-argues-new-report/

“Thirty years ago renewable energy was a novelty,” says John Farrell, author of the new report, Democratizing the Electricity System: A Vision for the 21st Century Electric Grid. “Twenty years ago it was little more than a cottage industry.  Today the $100 billion renewable energy industry threatens to overturn the bigger-is-better foundation of the existing, 20th century electricity system.”

Continue reading

distributed solar value
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Jun 19, 2011

Democratizing the Electricity System

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/democratizing-electricity-system/

“Clean local energy provides the most efficient pathway to the smart energy future and the new energy economy.  Democratizing the Electricity System does a brilliant job of illustrating the unparalleled benefits of small- and mid-size renewable energy and the urgent need for new policies that make the enormous economic and political opportunities accessible.”  — Craig… Continue reading

Ei_logoTM_web
Article filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth, Zero Waste & Economic Development | Written by admin | No Comments | Updated on Jun 19, 2011

Partnership Update: Elemental Impact: A POWERful Voice in Organics Solutions

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/partnership-update-elemental-impact-a-powerful-voice-in-organics-solutions/

Elemental Impact (EI), a national non-profit based in Atlanta, is a dynamo of projects, ideas and networking for the corporate community and government agencies in the field of organics solutions. EI takes ACTION through the Zero Waste Zones, an EI program in partnership with the National Restaurant Association, the Sustainable Food Court Initiative and POWER – Perishable Organics Waste… Continue reading

personaldf-logo
Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by admin | No Comments | Updated on Jun 16, 2011

PdF 2011 – Lawrence Lessig: Citizens

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/pdf-2011-lawrence-lessig-citizens/

Lessig presents at the Personal Democracy Forum 2011 using many of the findings and graphs on this website. He reviews the recent struggles with local broadband nationwide. Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Jun 14, 2011

Solar Economies of Scale (Update)

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/solar-economies-scale-update/

In drafts of ILSR’s forthcoming report on a distributed generation future (check back June 22!), I took some flak for my solar PV economies of scale analysis.  In it, I used data from the California Solar Initiative (through 2009) to point out that most economies of scale in solar PV seem to be captured at a size of 10 kilowatts (a large residential-scale project). 

“The solar statements seem way off base,” wrote one reviewer. 

Upon further review, I stand by my initial claim.  But, I note that the critics have a point, as well.

For deeper analysis, I grabbed data from Lawrence Berkeley Labs’ 2010 report Tracking the Sun III, which provided a very nice breakdown of installed costs for solar PV by project size.  I then dropped those size ranges into the California Solar Initiative (CSI) data for the whole data set (2006-2011) as well as for just the past two years (2010 to present).  The following chart illustrates the findings:

The historic data confirms my earlier analysis, that most economies of scale are achieved at small size.  In the full CSI database, there’s a 23% decrease in per Watt cost when increasing project size from under 2 kW to 5-10 kW, but only a further 6% percentage point decrease in sizing up to over 1,000 kW.  The other two curves are quite similar.

But the historic U.S. data is not the only story. 

The Clean Coalition – a distributed generation advocacy organization – has different numbers on installed cost from their network of installer partners.  These figures, data on very recent or proposed installations, tell a different tale, illustrated below:

In the Clean Coalition data, the savings from 5 kW to 25 kW are about 10%, but the savings from upsizing to 100 kW are a cumulative 21%, and growing to 1,000 kW offers a total of 28% off the 5 kW price per Watt. In other words, economies of scale continue strongly through the 100 kW size range.

Their data is not alone.  In the German feed-in tariff, solar PV producers are paid a fixed price per kWh generated, with prices set according to the location of the solar PV plant (roof/ground) and by size (small, medium, large, etc).  Overall, Germany is simply cheaper, with average installed costs for 10-100 kW rooftop PV installations of just $3.70 per Watt.  But their economies of scale are also strong: there is a 10% price differential between rooftop solar arrays smaller than 30 kW and those  100-1000 kW, but an additional 15% price drop for projects over 1000 kW. 

The conclusion is murky.  Historical data in the U.S. supports my original assertion: economies of scale for solar PV are limited beyond 10 kW.  But recent installed cost data and the German experience both suggest that there are stronger economies of scale up to projects 1,000 kW (1 MW) in size.

Continue reading

New_Rules_Logo_0
Article filed under Broadband | Written by admin | No Comments | Updated on Jun 13, 2011

ILSR Joins Debate over Public Ownership of Broadband

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/ilsr-joins-debate-over-public-ownership-broadband/

On June 1, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation held an oxford-style debate over the proposition: "Governments should neither subsidize nor operate broadband networks to compete with commercial ones. Continue reading