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Article filed under The Public Good, The Public Good News | Written by David Morris | 2 Comments | Updated on Dec 22, 2011

Occupy Giving

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

This is the giving season and we Americans are prodigious givers.  Nearly two thirds of us donate to charities each year.  This year we will send more than $225 billion to charities.  More than a quarter of this giving will occur in December. Those are the bare facts.  But this year, when the stark divide… Continue reading

On air with microphone
Article, ILSR Press Room, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by admin | No Comments | Updated on Dec 19, 2011

John Farrell Talks Democratizing the Electricity System Through Decentralizing Power on WKBM

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/john-farrell-talks-democratizing-electricity-system-through-decentralizing-power-wkbm/

In this Nov. 20 interview with Baruch on his WKBM Paradigms program, we talked about: The coming decentralization of the electricity system The folly of a building inherently decentralized technology (wind and solar) in a centralized fashion The benefits for local ownership of a decentralized system How limited economies of scale for solar and wind… Continue reading

John Farrell
Article, ILSR Press Room, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by admin | No Comments | Updated on Dec 15, 2011

John Farrell Talks Renewable Energy Incentives and Boulder’s Municipal Energy Effort with Tom McKinnon on KGNU

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/john-farrell-talks-renewable-energy-incentives-and-boulders-municipal-energy-effort-tom-mcki/

In this short interview on KGNU’s science show – How on Earth– with Tom McKinnon, we talk about: the problems presented for local ownership of energy resources when federal incentives use the tax code, the trouble for clean energy when it’s reliant on Wall Street, how Boulder, CO, may accomplish something remarkable with its vote… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 51 Comments | Updated on Dec 14, 2011

Mapping Solar Grid Parity

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

Where does solar grid parity strike first?  How fast does it spread?  Click “animate” on the map below to see which major metropolitan areas can beat grid prices with local solar first, and how quickly unsubsidized solar could take over America’s major metropolitan areas.

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 13, 2011

Solar Gets Cheaper, but Not Equally

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/solar-gets-cheaper-not-equally/

In January, I plotted the size of state solar markets against their average installed cost and found surprisingly little correlation.  When Lawrence Berkeley Labs put out their 2011 version of Tracking the Sun (IV), it was possible to update the chart, which I did in two stages. The first chart simply overlays the 2010 average… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under The Public Good, The Public Good News | Written by David Morris | 1 Comment | Updated on Dec 13, 2011

Occupy Economics Departments

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

On November 2nd nearly 70 students walked out of an introductory economics class at Harvard in solidarity with the Occupy movement. The mainstream media largely ignored the protest.  That’s regrettable since the economics profession has provided the intellectual framework and justification for the inequality and centralization of corporate power the Occupiers are challenging. “You can… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 12, 2011

Distributed generation needs less backup than centralized power generation

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/distributed-generation-needs-less-backup-centralized-power-generation/

 

One doesn’t need 540 MW of reserve to back up 540 MW of small-scale distributed generation, but one does need it to back up a single critical 540 MW unit.

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Dec 7, 2011

U.S. Climate Negotiator Calls for Feed-in Tariffs

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/us-climate-negotiator-calls-feed-tariffs/

From a friend at the United Nations climate meeting in Durban, South Africa:

Todd Stern, the head of the climate change negotiating team for the US Government called for Feed-in Tariff policies as key to solve the problem. Stern gave the briefing on December 7th to nearly 300 environmental group leaders in Durban, South Africa at the UN Climate Change negotiations. One of his major points was that the US and countries worldwide need to utilize the Feed-in Tariff approach in order to transform the energy production sector of society. While there was at best, luke warm, reception to his overall presentation of the US negotiating position, the crowd was impressed with his recognition of the transformative power of the German style renewable energy (Feed-in) approach. By providing investor security these policies have proven to be the fastest way to get gigawatts of good energy on line the quickest. As they say, when the house is on fire speed matters. [emphasis added]

Since feed-in tariffs are responsible for nearly two-thirds of the world’s wind power and 90 percent of the world’s solar, it’s a policy that would make sense for the American energy market.

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 5 Comments | Updated on Dec 5, 2011

Federal Tax Credits Handcuff Clean Energy Development

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/federal-tax-credits-handcuff-clean-energy-development/

Clean energy advocates should cast aside their worries about increasing Republican scrutiny of energy subsidies.  The clean energy industry’s foolish reliance on tax incentives has already handcuffed its expansion. Unlike the leading nations in the clean energy race, the United States has no coherent energy policy.  Rather, its energy market is balkanized by 50 distinct… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 3 Comments | Updated on Dec 2, 2011

American and Germany Getting Their Renewable Energy Just Desserts

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/american-and-germany-getting-their-renewable-energy-just-desserts/

Germany is the unquestioned world leader in renewable energy.  By mid-2011, the European nation generated over 20 percent of its electricity from wind and solar power alone, and had created over 400,000 jobs in the industry. The sweet German success is no accident, however, and the following pie chart illustrates the results of a carefully… Continue reading