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mn value of solar cover
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 16 Comments | Updated on Apr 9, 2014

Minnesota’s Value of Solar

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

In March 2014, Minnesota became the first state to adopt a “value of solar” policy. It may fundamentally change the financial relationship between electric utilities and their energy-producing customers. It may also serve as a precedent for setting a transparent, market-based price for solar energy. This report explains the origins of value of solar, the… Continue reading

Dawn Weisz, Marin Clean Energy
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 3, 2014

The Leading Community Energy Aggregator – Episode 19 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/leading-community-energy-aggregator-episode-19-local-energy-rules/

Community choice aggregation describes a situation where a town can become the bulk buyer of electricity on behalf of its residential and small business customers. Such local aggregations serve about 5% of utility customers in Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and California, but it’s Marin Clean Energy in California that stands above the crowd for… Continue reading

EnergyStorageImage
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 26, 2014

Energy Storage: The Next Charge for Distributed Energy

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

Update 5/2/14: titles for Fig. 2 and 3 in the report were mistakenly switched and are now corrected.   Energy storage promises to change the electricity system during the next decade, as fundamentally as distributed renewable energy has in the last decade. A new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Energy Storage: The Next… Continue reading

KIUC lineman and truck
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 21, 2014

A Perfect Storm for Renewables – Episode 18 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/perfect-storm-renewables-episode-18-local-energy-rules/

“We have a perfect storm for renewables,” says Jan TenBruggencate, second-term board member of the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative. The Hawaiian utility, made local when the investor-owned utility left the business a decade ago, is surging toward 40% renewable energy in the next year, with a third of that total from customer-generated solar. Half its… Continue reading

freedom to generate under fire ILSR 2015-0325
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 19, 2014

Distributed Renewable Energy Under Fire

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

I developed this map as a side project while I was working on explaining the value of solar and its potential role in addressing conflicts between utilities and customers over distributed renewable energy like solar. I’ve received several updates since it was originally published, so here’s the updated map. For some context on the contention… Continue reading

bill-to-boost-broadband-in-minnesota-struggles-in-legislature
Article, ILSR Press Room, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Mar 19, 2014

Minnesota Local Governments Advance Super Fast Internet Networks

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/minnesota-local-governments-advance-super-fast-internet-networks/

As in much of rural America, communities in Greater Minnesota struggle with connectivity. Some areas have no choice at all, forced to rely on dial-up or slow DSL. Others have an incumbent cable provider. A few local community leaders in Minnesota, conscious of the need for broadband to save public dollars, encourage economic development, and… Continue reading

zerowastesandiego
Article, Resource filed under Waste to Wealth, Zero Waste & Economic Development | Written by Neil Seldman | No Comments | Updated on Mar 11, 2014

It’s Not Just San Francisco Anymore! A Report on San Diego’s First Zero Waste Conference

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

Neil Seldman summarizes presentations from the first San Diego County Zero Waste Conference that was held under the sponsorship of Zero Waste San Diego (ZWSD) and the California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA). Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 6, 2014

How Can Communities Leverage a Better Energy Future? – Episode 17 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/communities-leverage-energy-future-episode-17-local-energy-rules/

How can a community take control of its energy future from a 100-year monopoly electric utility?  Citizens of Boulder, CO, are testing answers to that question, trying to discover how a single city can do more for its economy and the environment with more power over its energy system. At the core of their efforts… Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Mar 5, 2014

Financing Municipal Networks Fact Sheet

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/financing-municipal-networks-fact-sheet/

This fact sheet provides information on the most common ways local communities finance their municipal networks. When a community decides it needs to establish its own publicly owned network infrastructure, one of the biggest challenges is financing the investment. Each community is unique but three main methods of financing are most popular. This fact sheet… Continue reading

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Featured Article, ILSR Press Room, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Mar 5, 2014

Santa Monica City Net: An Incremental Approach to Building a Fiber Optic Network

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

Santa Monica has built a fiber network called City Net that has lowered its own costs for telecommunications, helped to retain businesses, and attracted new businesses to the community. Built incrementally without debt, it offers a roadmap any community can draw lessons from. Unlike the majority of municipal fiber networks, Santa Monica does not have… Continue reading

chris-mitchell-to-speak-at-fiber-event-in-stockholm-feb-21
Article, ILSR Press Room, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Mar 4, 2014

Christopher Mitchell Speaks in Sweden at Fiber Event

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

In February, ILSR’s Christopher Mitchell travelled to Stockholm to share our work on broadband at an event titled Fibre: The key to creating world-class IT regions. On February 21st, he presented info to attendees on the status of broadband in the U.S. While Chris was there, he also spoke one-on-one with Anders Broberg, one of… Continue reading

the-five-fundamentals-for-future-telecommunications-community-broadband-bits-podcast-32
Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Feb 26, 2014

Barry Lynn Talks Monopolies on the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

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

In Episode #83 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast, we bring you Barry Lynn to talk about the direct and indirect threats that make market consolidation dangerous. There are many threats from monopolies and many are much more dangerous to a free society than higher prices. Lynn is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and… Continue reading

Neil Seldman
Featured Article, Resource filed under Waste to Wealth, Zero Waste & Economic Development | Written by John Bailey | No Comments | Updated on Feb 24, 2014

Zero Waste Symposium – Comments By Neil Seldman

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/waste-symposium-comments-neil-seldman/

Comments (edited version) by Neil Seldman at the Zero Waste Symposium – held February 4, 2014 Sponsored by Zero Waste San Diego and the California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA) February 4, 2014 Thank you very much, Rick. It’s always a pleasure to come back to California – certainly San Diego. Many of you know that… Continue reading

jff and thom hartmann
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 24, 2014

John Farrell Talks Energy Decentralization on Thom Hartmann’s Big Picture

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/john-farrell-talks-energy-decentralization-thom-hartmanns-big-picture/

What is energy decentralization, who’s doing it, and why does it matter? John Farrell, Director of Democratic Energy, answers these questions in an interview segment with Thom Hartmann on his Big Picture program on February 18, 2014. Skip to 30:06 to see John’s interview.   Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 20, 2014

Millions of People Investing in Solar – Episode 16 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/millions-people-investing-solar-episode-16-local-energy-rules/

For years, the only effective way to go solar was to have tens of thousands of dollars and a sunny roof.  Investing in solar was nearly impossible.  But a couple years ago, a new notion called crowdfunding got its start, and California-Based Mosaic was on the forefront.  Its crowdfunding program allows people to pool their… Continue reading