Twenty-three veteran recycling and composting activists met in a two-day retreat in June 2007 to prepare policy guidelines to accelerate diversion of discarded materials from landfills and incinerators. The document, upon refinement and approval by a broader number of activists, will be circulated among state, local and federal decision-makers for consideration. View the background statement,… Continue reading
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Interviews with 18 local suppliers—who produce everything from fresh vegetables, dairy products and meat, to prepared and processed foods—raise serious questions about Whole Foods’ commitment to promoting local food. While some farmers and vendors reported a positive experience, many have encountered corporate policies that impede, and even undermine, their success. Continue reading
The recent paradigm shift in computer discard from disposal to recovery and recycling has been the result of grass roots organizing in the US. Refurbishing of computers has not been emphasized in new government policies, despite the overwhelming evidence that reuse is far superior in environmental, economic and social impacts. Continue reading
This column by ILSR’s John Farrell argues that in their desire to expand renewable-energy production, activists and policymakers focus almost entirely on “more,” rather than “better.” Twenty-seven states have renewable-energy standards, requiring utilities to produce or sell 10, 20, even 30 percent of electricity from renewable sources in the next two decades. The U.S. Continue reading
On renewable energy, go local A focus on output in gallons and megawatts leads to large-scale ethanol plants and wind farms. Such facilities aren’t the most beneficial, nor even the most efficient. By John Farrell, originally published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, August 15, 2007 In the past two years, renewable energy has catapulted to… Continue reading
Through and attractive pricing arrangement, the Woodruff Electric Cooperative has enticed nearly 85 percent of area farmers to allow their irrigation systems to be shut off when electricity demand is high. The program certainly benefits the participating farmers but the other member owners also save since the cooperative can reduce its need to purchase expensive peak power during critical times of the year.
Hundreds of communities across the United States are considering municipal fiber network projects. Nearly all will have to start from scratch, spending years building the network and attracting users before it is useful. Mooresville and Davidson have a historic opportunity to invest in the future while skipping the grunt work.
Thanks to the foresight of those who negotiated Adelphia’s cable franchise, Mooresville and Davidson can purchase the existing network and upgrade it to fit community needs. Continue reading
Congress and most state legislatures have or are developing renewable energy policies with a single objective: get more renewables. Our new study, Wind and Ethanol: Economies and Diseconomies of Scale, finds that this single minded focus ignores the potential economic benefits from locally owned and more modestly scaled facilities. The focus should on better renewable energy projects not simply more.
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) recently released the results from their Small Wind Turbine Global Market Study, reporting that high up Ãƒ¢Ã‚â‚¬”front costs are preventing small wind systems from reaching their growth potential. The small wind industry has been experiencing annual growth in the range of 14-25% since 1985. AWEA says that Increased federal incentives could double the growth rate. Continue reading
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) has issued the 5th edition of its Connecting to the Grid guide. The report and survey addresses new and lingering interconnection issues relevant to all distributed generation (DG) technologies. Continue reading