In 2008, California passed legislation to enable every city (and county) in the state to establish voluntary districts for homeowners wanting to fit their homes with renewable energy or make energy efficiency improvements and pay for the improvements with a special assessment on their property taxes. Continue reading
Featured from Energy Page 51 of 88
Community Choice Aggregation lets cities and counties select their own electricity provider, prioritize renewable energy and encourage conservation, without having to own the utility or the power lines. It has expanded in California, and this paper provides an update on this innovative policy. For years, the U.S. has been served by four forms of electric utility: investor-owned, cooperative, municipal, and federal (e.g. Tennessee Valley Authority). This list is changing.
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
On Sunday, April 26, David Morris addressed a crowd hosted by the DFL Education Foundation, on the challenges of developing renewable energy in a time of economic turmoil. His remarks follow:
I appreciate the opportunity to speak to this distinguished audience this evening. My charge is to address the question, “Can We Be Green in a Recession?” Or as the teaser for this meeting puts it, can we be green without green?
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.