On May 4th, 2009, Governors from 10 East Coast states sent a sign-on letter opposing the current House & Senate bills to expedite transmission line planning and siting. The states that signed onwere Virginia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont. Theletter argued against a greater federal subsidy for long-distance transmission, stating that the focus should be on more local renewable generation, such as off-shore wind along the East Coast.
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In a nutshell: On paper, California could meet its targets, provided it can afford and build $12 billion in new transmission lines and higher electricity costs. In reality, the state probably won’t make the target, concludes the California Public Utilities Commission in its latest analysis of the state’s clean-energy quest…
In 2008, the Berkeley City Council approved an amendment to the Berkeley Municipal Code (BMC) and created the Special Tax Financing Law. The Special Tax Financing Law is the implementing legislation that allows for the creation of the Sustainable Energy Financing District, by which the City would help property owners finance solar installations and energy efficiency improvements by creating a special tax that is paid through their individual property tax bills. Continue reading
The St. Regis Mohawk tribe again proves that it is cheaper to build your own power plant than to buy electricity from utilities. Continue reading
The state Public Utilities Commission has made it easier for small power generators 10 MW and under to get their renewable energy flowing onto the electric grid.
Called the South Dakota Small Generation Interconnection Rules, the recent decision simplifies who can connect to the electric grid and how. It allows electric customers to be producers, too, by connecting clean energy systems such as solar panels and wind turbines to the grid. Next is a legislative review hearing. Barring changes, the interconnection rules will become law June 9.
A 10-min video on Germany’s rewarding feed-in tariff renewable energy program Continue reading
Mayor Manny Diaz recently unveiled an ambitious, $200 million "Energy Smart Miami" smart grid project developed in partnership with General Electric, Cisco Systems, Florida Power & Light and Silver Spring Networks to ultimately deploy smart meters on every home and most businesses in Miami-Dade County. In addition to smart meters, the project aims to install solar power systems on several schools and universities, add 300 plug-in hybrid vehicles to the city’s fleet, and bring a series of new technologies like home energy use dashboards, smart appliances and smart-meter thermostats to pilot programs in 1,000 city homes. Continue reading
In the 1990s, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and other energy activists in Minnesota undertook an effort to get Minnesota to adopt a billion dollar "tax shift" that would have raised the cost of energy while reducing taxes on income and/or property. ILSR was integrally involved in the design of the legislative proposal and examined the impacts on various sectors of Minnesota’s economy. Below you will find the archive of the materials that were prepared to support the initiative. Over several years, the proposal was debated extensively but never enacted into law. Continue reading
In 2009 a vigorous debate is taking place about the best way to reduce carbon emissions. There are two leading proposals: a carbon cap and emissions auction with revenue returned to Americans as a dividend, and a carbon tax with revenue returned to Americans in the form of lower taxes or a dividend. In the mid 1990s Minnesota debated a carbon tax and dividend bill designed by ILSR. Several studies were done about the impact on various sectors of such a policy. Continue reading
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.