Can residential rooftop solar compete with new utility-scale concentrating solar electric plants? Only if federal and state incentives are amended to level the playing field. This May 2008 report explores the economics of solar PV and concentrating solar and shows how local ownership is hindered unless government solar incentives change.
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Minneapolis, Minn.—(May 20, 2008). In a matter of days, MetroFi and Earthlink have announced they are abandoning the municipal wireless market. Both will shut down their existing Wi-Fi networks in several cities if they cannot find buyers.
The private sector has largely decided municipal Wi-Fi networks are not profitable. But the public sector has come to the opposite conclusion and is continuing to build networks. Why?
The grassroots group, New Scotlanders for Sound Economic Development (NS4SED), has convinced the town board in New Scotland, NY, to pass a moratorium on commercial projects, preventing, for now, a 750,000-square-foot retail development that would be the 4th largest mall in the region. Continue reading
Today, cellulosic ethanol can no longer be ignored. Even as the quantity of ethanol from corn increases, the age of corn ethanol is drawing to a close. Few new corn-to-ethanol plants will be built beyond those currently in the ?nancing and construction pipeline. The opportunity to build on the farmer-owned corn-to-ethanol biore?nery model is over. But the opportunity for local ownership is just beginning for cellulosic biofuels. This piece by David Morris was originally published in Ethanol Today magazine. Continue reading
Together, two grassroots groups have thwarted a development proposal that would have paved the way for a 128,000-square-foot Super Target in Simsbury, CT. Continue reading
Be suspicious of megamall subsidy Federal tax law discourages individual investment and local ownership of turbines. By David Morris, originally published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, May 2, 2008 The almost-certainly-soon-to-be-passed $370 million tax subsidy to the Mall of America is the kind of initiative that makes people wonder whose side government is on. Here’s… Continue reading
An energy incentive is drifting in the wind Federal tax law discourages individual investment and local ownership of turbines. By John Farrell, originally published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, May 1, 2008 A wind turbine can power up to 600 homes, but 600 homeowners can’t get together to own a wind turbine. Why? Because federal… Continue reading
A wind turbine can power up to 600 homes, but 600 homeowners can’t get together to own a wind turbine. Why? Because federal law makes local ownership virtually impossible. The federal wind-energy incentives — up for renewal this year — discriminate against local ownership and favor absentee ownership. They also severely restrict the number of investors who can finance wind-energy generators.
A debate between advocates of distributed and centralized renewable energy systems is just beginning. It is overdue. Consideration of scale in renewable energy systems has been delayed in part because we first had to bring solar energy in all its forms to market, and in part because the distributed nature of renewable energy resources seemed inexorably to lead to their being harnessed in distributed fashion.
Included in the state budget passed this week by the New York legislature is a provision that requires online retailers, including Amazon.com, to collect state and local sales taxes. Continue reading