Sticking up for its downtown businesses, the Owen Sound City Council derailed Wal-Mart’s plans to expand a current store into a supercenter. Continue reading
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The PUC has an approval process that stacks the deck against the public.
A few days ago the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved a massive high voltage transmission project (known as CapX) that will cost Minnesotans an amount equal to the projected biennium state budget deficit and four times the total bill to taxpayers for the Gopher and Twins stadiums.
This recent article by the Manager of EPRI published on EnergyCentral.com discusses how conventional photovoltaic (PV) applications can act as distributed resources when the sun is shining — rather than solely as a reduction in load. They also can help diversify supply portfolios and meet other goals. The most basic scenario is for utilities to aggregate grid-connected PV installations owned by others and to treat them as demand-side resources.
The Wired Road has begun operations, bringing an open services, fiber to the home and wireless network to the community. The network is owned by a partnership among local government, making the network accountable to the communities it is serving.
The regional network is the largest integrated fiber and wireless open access, open services municipal network in the United States, and the high performance network will eventually provide services across more than 1,000 square miles of mountainous terrain in southwest Virginia.
ILSR submitted comments to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (in the Department of Commerce) and the Rural Utilities Service regarding the Broadband Technology Opportunies Program – a program established by the stimulus package to distribute grants to build information networks and expand broadband networks.
David Morris spoke on Earth Day to the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis on ethics. He began with some definitions:
Ethics is a set of moral values and standards that guide our conduct. Those moral values and standards are not the same in all societies. Our own country offers an excellent example. Indeed, we consider our history and culture so unique that our leaders often use the term American Exceptionalism to describe our economic and social niche.
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) and the North American Water Office (NAWO) find today’s decision by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to approve nearly $2 billion in ratepayer money for 650 miles of new high voltage transmission lines (known as CapX) to be willfully shortsighted. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission’s decision represents a slap in the face to Minnesota ratepayers and deals another setback for building a homegrown, decentralized energy future.
There’s a renewable energy policy with a record of incredible success, so why aren’t we using it in America? Our April 2009 paper briefly explores the history of feed-in tariffs (FITs) in Europe – the rise and fall of this policy in Denmark and the rise and rise of FITs in Germany – and then outlines why it would be a much simpler, more cost-effective, and better economic driver for reaching America’s renewable energy goals.
American renewable energy policy consists of a byzantine mix of tax incentives, rebates, state mandates, and utility programs. The complexity of the system results in more difficult and costly renewable electricity generation, and hampers the ability of states and communities to maximize the benefits of their renewable energy resources.
Upcoming Event in Minneapolis!
A talk by David Morris at 7PM on Sunday, April 26. Join ILSR and the DFL Education Foundation in a discussion of the challenges to environmental and renewable energy policy in an economic crisis.