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…
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
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.
This recent article by the Manager of EPRI published on EnergyCentral.com discusses how conventional photovoltaic (PV) applications can act as distributed resources when the sun is shining — rather than solely as a reduction in load. They also can help diversify supply portfolios and meet other goals. The most basic scenario is for utilities to aggregate grid-connected PV installations owned by others and to treat them as demand-side resources.
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) and the North American Water Office (NAWO) find today’s decision by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to approve nearly $2 billion in ratepayer money for 650 miles of new high voltage transmission lines (known as CapX) to be willfully shortsighted. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission’s decision represents a slap in the face to Minnesota ratepayers and deals another setback for building a homegrown, decentralized energy future.
There’s a renewable energy policy with a record of incredible success, so why aren’t we using it in America? Our April 2009 paper briefly explores the history of feed-in tariffs (FITs) in Europe – the rise and fall of this policy in Denmark and the rise and rise of FITs in Germany – and then outlines why it would be a much simpler, more cost-effective, and better economic driver for reaching America’s renewable energy goals.
American renewable energy policy consists of a byzantine mix of tax incentives, rebates, state mandates, and utility programs. The complexity of the system results in more difficult and costly renewable electricity generation, and hampers the ability of states and communities to maximize the benefits of their renewable energy resources.