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

Nissan Leaf Owners Seek Self-Reliance

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/nissan-leaf-owners-seek-self-reliance/

How will electric vehicle use change the grid?  If early adopters have their way, less than expected.  Nearly half of Nissan LEAF buyers (in this online forum) intend to power their car with a home solar PV system

Anecdotal, to be sure, but a promising sign.

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 14, 2011

2009 Wind Technologies Market Report

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/2009-wind-technologies-market-report/

An incredibly thorough, annual analysis of the U.S. wind market.  A must-read for anyone doing analysis of wind power data in the United States. The authors even provide their data file.  Download the report. From the Executive Summary: Wind Power Additions in 2009 Shattered Old Records, with roughly 10 GW of New Capacity Added in… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 3 Comments | Updated on Jan 13, 2011

Home Solar Cheaper Than Every Concentrating Solar Power Plant

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/home-solar-cheaper-every-concentrating-solar-power-plant/

A residential rooftop solar PV system in Los Angeles, CA, has a cheaper cost per kilowatt-hour of electricity delivered than the most cost effective, utility-scale concentrating solar power plant. 

In 2010, a buying group called Open Neighborhoods openly advertised an opportunity to get a solar PV system installed for $4.78 per Watt (not including any tax credits, rebates, or grants), a system that would produce approximately 1,492 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year (AC) for each kilowatt of capacity (DC). 

Based on the best available public information about the costs and performance of operational concentrating solar thermal power plants, the PS10 solar power tower – an 11 MW installation in Spain – has the lowest levelized cost of operation of any concentrating solar power plant that produces electricity.  PS10 had an installed cost of $4.15 per Watt and produces 2,127 kWh per kW of capacity. 

However, due to higher operations costs and a higher cost of capital (8% rather than 5%) for a concentrating solar power plant, the levelized cost of the residential rooftop system (17.3 cents per kWh) is less than that of the power tower (19.9 cents per kWh).

This analysis also does not include any transmission infrastructure or efficiency losses, either of which would increase the levelized cost of the concentrating solar power plant.  It also did not include the lower price point from Open Neighborhoods, which advertised a possibility of driving the price down to $4.22 per Watt (driving the levelized cost down to 15.3 cents per kWh).

The Southern California Edison project, also featured in the chart, is another example of low-cost distributed solar PV, with the 250 MW project spread across commercial rooftops in 1-2 MW increments but still achieving large scale. 

Ultimately, this data further confirms that distributed solar can be delivered less expensively than centralized solar power. 

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

Discussion: Why Policy Matters for Distributed Generation and Why DG is More Than Electricity

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/discussion-why-policy-matters-distributed-generation-and-why-dg-more-electricity/

I received an email this morning from a thoughtful fellow who had read some of the posts I’ve sent over to Renewable Energy World. His perspective is worth sharing because it highlights the all-too-common tunnel vision we can get about renewable energy as only about electricity. I believe the distributed energy model will be the… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 11, 2011

Federal Solar Tax Credits Rule Out Half of Americans

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/federal-solar-tax-credits-rule-out-half-americans/

The difference between clean energy policies with a democratizing influence and the bewildering U.S. system can be illustrated with a close look at the federal investment tax credit for solar power.  The investment tax credit returns up to 30% of a solar PV system value to the developer, and the credit can be carried over… Continue reading

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Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Jan 10, 2011

Once We Insisted On Civility: Reflections on Tucson

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/once-we-insisted-civility-reflections-tucson/

In the wake of the murders in Tucson, our leaders once again are calling for civility in public discourse. We forget that for almost 40 years we didn’t have to plead for civility. We demanded it. The story of how we did so, and why we stopped, illuminates the intersection of politics and culture. At the dawn of the broadcasting era, the government declared that the airwaves belonged to the public and fashioned rules to protect the public interest protect the public interest. Continue reading

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Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 10, 2011

American States Can Learn Much From Ontario’s “Buy Local” Clean Energy Strategy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/american-states-can-learn-much-ontarios-buy-local-clean-energy-strategy/

The Canadian province of Ontario has launched a clean energy strategy to maximize economic development while reducing pollution.  Maximizing Jobs From Clean Energy: Ontario’s ‘Buy Local’ Policy, a new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, details how Ontario’s bold clean energy program – in just over a year – has resulted in the promise of 43,000 clean energy jobs in support of 5,000 MW of clean energy projects.  Continue reading

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 7, 2011

Maximizing Jobs From Clean Energy: Ontario’s ‘Buy Local’ Policy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/maximizing-jobs-clean-energy-ontarios-buy-local-policy/

Ontario’s bold renewable energy program contains excellent examples of policy that marries economic and environmental goals.  Unique among programs that set a guaranteed price for electricity from renewable energy projects, Ontario’s program also boasts a domestic content requirement.  Sixty percent of the value of wind and solar projects interconnected under the program must be sourced… Continue reading

Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by admin | No Comments | Updated on Jan 7, 2011

John Farrell Talks Economies of Scale on the RenewableEnergyWorld Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/john-farrell-talks-economies-scale-renewableenergyworld-podcast/

The title of the link won’t give it away, but I was interviewed on Stephen Lacey’s most recent REW podcast on superconducting technology for transmission.  He generously provided me some time to contrast the lead topic (centralized renewable energy reliant on transmission) with the economics of distributed renewable energy sources. Continue reading

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 6, 2011

Update on PACE Financing for the Residential Sector

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/update-pace-financing-residential-sector/

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, a promising tool to advance energy efficiency, was blocked nationwide by the opposition of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.  In this post we get a status report from Renewable Funding’s, Cisco DeVries, on what’s happening in the courts with various parties suing the FHFA.  He also gives us an update on what’s happening on the on the ground with PACE financing for the commercial sector which is alive and expanding.

View the full post over at our EnergySelfReliantStates.org blog.

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