Back to top Jump to featured resources
solar school check - blackrocksolar flickr
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on May 22, 2015

Why Democratic Energy Offers Faster Approach to Clean Energy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/why-democratic-energy-offers-faster-approach-to-clean-energy/

There are many organizations in the energy space, and ILSR’s climate and energy advocacy overlaps substantially with the many other players who care about a cleaner energy system. But our approach isn’t the same. Rather, our vision is that communities enrich their local economies by being masters of the transition to 100% renewable energy. This… Continue reading

Cost of Residential Solar v. US Residential Retail
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on May 15, 2015

Beyond Utility 2.0: Part 4 “Next Steps”

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/beyond-utility-2-0-part-4-next-steps/

Principles, Structure, and Policies of Energy Democracy Energy democracy can best be described as an electricity system that empowers the individuals and communities that have the energy resources of the 21st century (e.g. wind and solar) to economically benefit from their use. It shares the principles of utility 2.0 – an efficient, low- carbon, and… Continue reading

Installed-Capacity-by-Fuel-Type_March2015_supply-mix-page
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on May 8, 2015

A Lesson in Solar from a Northern Neighbor

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/a-lesson-in-solar-from-a-northern-neighbor/

Based on population, Ontario would be the 5th largest state if it were part of the U.S., but its installed solar capacity, 1,500 MW would rank it 3rd. The province has also shut down all its coal-fired power plants. How does a northern province become a solar and climate leader, despite one of the poorest… Continue reading

beyond utility 2.0 to energy democracy graphics ILSR.020
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on May 7, 2015

Beyond Utility 2.0: Part 3 “The Future”

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/beyond-utility-2-0-part-3-the-future/

Unfortunately for utilities, new technology and commercial opportunities in the coming years will only increase the threat to the 1.0 business model. Solar energy is growing exponentially as costs have fallen 28% per year from 2009-2013, and electricity from rooftops is approaching or passing parity with utility prices.63 This is the third of four parts of our… Continue reading

JF in video of Maui Energy Conference
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 30, 2015

Somebody Wants Something: Getting the Most from a Proposed Takeover of Hawaiian Electric Company

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/somebody-wants-something-getting-the-most-from-a-proposed-takeover-of-hawaiian-electric-company/

If your electricity—generated from imported oil—is the most expensive in the country and your solar resource is terrific, you’d expect your electric company to be making great strides toward renewable energy. On Hawai’i, the progress toward clean energy is in limbo, because island’s largest electric utility—largely owned by islanders—is likely to be acquired by mainland… Continue reading

woman with axe - flickr Alexandre Dulaunoy
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 29, 2015

Why (Else) is Xcel Energy Trying to Axe Minnesota’s Community Solar program?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/why-else-is-xcel-energy-trying-to-axe-minnesotas-community-solar-program/

In a filing Tuesday (April 28), Minnesota’s largest electric utility announced unilateral action within the next 30 days to reduce development under the state’s community solar gardens program by 80%, from nearly 560 MW to 80. It’s the latest in a series of attempts to slow the program, including efforts to cap the program and… Continue reading

Cost of Residential Solar v. US Residential Retail
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Apr 29, 2015

Beyond Utility 2.0: Part 2 “The Present”

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/beyond-utility-2-0-part-2-the-present/

Aggressive state policy and cost reductions for clean energy have created two business model crises for electric utilities: stagnant sales and exponentially rising production from distributed renewable sources. This is the second of four parts of our Beyond Utility 2.0 to Energy Democracy report being published in serial.  To see the first post, click here. Download the entire… Continue reading

beyond utility 2 cover image
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Apr 22, 2015

Beyond Utility 2.0: Part 1 “A Prelude to the Future”

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/beyond-utility-2-0-part-1-prelude/

The U.S. electricity system is undergoing the biggest change in its 130-­year history. The scale of electricity generation is rapidly shrinking, from coal and nuclear power plants that can power a million homes to solar and wind power plants that power a few to a few hundred nearby homes. Electricity demand has leveled off, so… Continue reading

sunset in georgetown tx - flickr Jim Nix
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 14, 2015

Can Other Cities Match Georgetown’s Low-Cost Switch to 100% Wind and Sun?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/can-other-cities-match-georgetowns-low-cost-switch-to-100-wind-and-sun/

This is probably not the first place you’ve read about Georgetown, TX, the town of 55,000 that will be getting the equivalent of 100% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2017. But few articles hit upon the two key reasons Georgetown was able to make this move when so many other cities with abundant… Continue reading

featured image for solar missouri infographic post
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 9, 2015

Solar Energy in Missouri Means Jobs, Savings, and a Low-Cost Future

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/solar-energy-in-missouri-means-jobs-savings-and-a-low-cost-future/

There are a lot of utility-sponsored legislative and regulatory attacks on solar energy lately, and we put together this infographic to help the Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association fight back in their state. Click the image to see it full size.   This article originally posted at ilsr.org. For timely updates, follow John Farrell on… Continue reading