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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 1, 2014

With Liberty and Solar for All

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

For over 100 years, the American economy has been fueled by enormous expansion of fossil fuel energy. It has emitted a disproportionate share of its environmental impact (too much) and economic rewards (too few) on those less fortunate. More than any 21st century energy source, solar can power an equitable and environmentally sound energy future. … Continue reading

tractor and wind turbines - flickr  Alexander Boden
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Jul 25, 2014

A $6 Billion Opportunity for the Rural Energy Economy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/6-billion-opportunity-rural-energy-economy/

One of the biggest barriers to making investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy is the upfront cost. So what if members of rural electric cooperative and rural municipal electric utilities could borrow money for small-scale improvements on the same terms as the utilities for their large-scale power plants? Starting in 2014, they can. The… Continue reading

big boot stomping small person - flickr kennysarmy
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jul 15, 2014

California’s Reserve Fund Won’t Lift the FHFA Boot From PACE’s Neck

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/californias-pace-program-solve-fanniefreddie-problem/

Earlier this year, the state of California announced a $10 million loan-loss reserve to solve the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s severe restrictions on using property-tax based financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy on residential property. It’s a great concept, but evidence from on of California’s best property assessed clean energy (PACE) programs suggests the reserve… Continue reading

third party ownership solar california.001
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jul 10, 2014

Is Solar Ownership Poised for a Comeback?

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

With “no money down” and “zero maintenance” to attract homeowners, solar leasing has become the overwhelming favorite for residential solar installations. And with the complexity of tax incentives, rebates, and financing, it’s hard to find fault with homeowners that choose this low-effort option. But giving up ownership means giving up a big share of the… Continue reading

solar and flag - flickr Deval Patrick
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jul 2, 2014

Celebrate Independence with 3 Steps Toward Energy Self-Reliance

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/celebrate-independence-3-steps-energy-self-reliance/

Being from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, I’m often asked, “You want everyone off-grid and independent with their own solar array and a battery, right?” In a word, no. But our mission of economic and energy self-reliance has several similarities to the kind of (economic) independence being sought by England’s American colonists in the 1770s and… Continue reading

fox in henhouse - Phil Catterall (wikipedia) and Nemo (Pixabay)
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Jun 24, 2014

Ejecting the Power Line Foxes from the Electric Customer Henhouse

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/ejecting-power-line-foxes-electric-customer-henhouse/

The neighbors of the proposed Badger-Coulee high-voltage line in Wisconsin are like those in many other parts of the country, upset that their utility will construct 200-foot steel towers across their region and through their property (they have some other cogent arguments, too). They should be more than upset. In fact, all advocates of a… Continue reading

solar panel and smiling people - USAID flickr
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Jun 16, 2014

Forget Utility 2.0, Let’s Talk Energy Ownership 2.0

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/forget-utility-2-0-talk-energy-ownership-2-0/

The transformation taking place in the electricity system is enormous, but twofold. But most commentators – including the former FERC chair – miss half the opportunity when they fixate on the inevitable technological rather than the more fundamental economic transformation. The 20th century electric grid was characterized by two centralized components. The technology of power… Continue reading

will value of solar work for solar producers slide
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 13, 2014

Webinar: 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/webinar-minnesotas-solar/

What is “the value of solar” electricity? How can it be used in energy policy? And how does it differ from other policies that govern the deployment of distributed solar power? Listen in to this 30-minute webinar presentation (and 30-minute Q&A) to learn about Minnesota’s recently enacted value of solar policy, how it may work for… Continue reading

undermined retaining wall - flickr hilariouslywrong
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 6 Comments | Updated on Jun 13, 2014

California’s AB 2145 Undermines Clean Energy, Local Economies, and Majority Rule

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/californias-ab-2145-undermines-clean-energy-local-economies-majority-rule/

A powerful law in six states gives communities the power to choose their energy suppliers and direct their energy dollars toward local energy production. Two of the most prominent examples of this policy in action are in California, Marin Clean Energy and Sonoma Clean Power, and they’re offering electric customers better pricing with much more… Continue reading

800px-US_Navy_110803-N-UN340-067_A_view_of_solar_panels_recently_installed_on_the_roof_of_Space_and_Naval_Warfare_Systems_Command_Headquarters,_Old_Town
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 5, 2014

Same Price, More Renewables. San Diego’s Fight for Community Choice – Episode 23 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/price-renewables-san-diegos-fight-community-choice-episode-23-local-energy-rules/

“San Diego and its community choice energy district would be able to offer a diverse energy mix with all of the solar, biodiesel, biogas, and energy storage resources that we have in San Diego.  A product that is price competitive and yet at the same time would strive for and achieve a higher level of… Continue reading