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Lowering Soft Costs Means Big Solar Savings
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 29, 2013

Soft Costs Make a Bigger Difference as Solar Gets Cheap

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

Last week’s graphic on the impact of local permitting on the cost of solar power was a big hit, so here’s a follow up on “soft costs,” the expenses in a solar installation (including permitting) that are not the solar module.  The chart compares the soft costs in the U.S. to Germany (thanks to LBNL’s… Continue reading

Xcel Energy should use solar for peak power
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 5 Comments | Updated on Apr 17, 2013

New Peak Power Capacity Should Use Solar, Not Gas

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

It’s parochial, since I’m a Minnesota resident, but I just can’t stand that our state’s largest utility, Xcel Energy, is planning to use ratepayer money to buy three new natural gas fired peaking plants instead of a) installing solar power or b) supporting the proposed solar energy standard.  Share the graphic below if you agree:… Continue reading

truth stretched
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Apr 17, 2013

Proposed Solar Standard is Cheap Compared to Minnesota Utilities’ Rate Increases

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/proposed-solar-standard-cheap-compared-minnesota-utilities-rate-increases/

If you’re a state legislator in Minnesota, here are a few grains of salt to season the message you’ve been getting from electric utilities about the proposed solar energy standard.  The bill (HF956/SF901) requires most utilities to get 4% of their energy from solar by 2025 and offers a standard, fixed-price contract to distributed solar energy… Continue reading

Pinocchio_Lying
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 16, 2013

Proposed Solar Standard is Cheap Compared to Minnesota Utilities’ Rate Increases

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

If you’re a state legislator in Minnesota, here’s a few grains of salt to season the message you’ve been getting from electric utilities about the proposed solar energy standard.  The bill (HF956/SF901) requires most utilities to get 4% of their energy from solar by 2025 and offers a standard, fixed-price contract to distributed solar energy producers… Continue reading

Cost of Residential p.3
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Wade | 1 Comment | Updated on Apr 4, 2013

Solar Costs and Grid Prices On a Collision Course

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

With the cost of solar continuing to fall rapidly (50% in the past five years) and electricity prices rising steadily, if slowly, the approach of solar grid parity is near. The following chart illustrates the trajectory of solar cost and electricity price, hinting at the coming intersection. 1 The chart compares the cost of a… Continue reading

Cost of Residential Solar v. US Residential Retail
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Wade | 1 Comment | Updated on Mar 27, 2013

The Coming Solar Electricity Transformation

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

Solar cells are unusual in that they were cost-competitive from the get-go. From the Apollo space program to highway signs to lighting for buoys, solar could replace highly expensive power from batteries or other sources and eliminate the need for the construction of electric distribution lines.1 When the Institute for Local Self-Reliance was founded in… Continue reading

CUB Retail Electricity Suppliers Report Card
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 28, 2013

Three Unequal Options for Local Energy Control

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/unequal-options-local-energy-control/

If we ignore self-generation, three policies are at the center of increasing local control of energy: deregulation (“customer choice”), municipal aggregation (“city choice”), and municipal utilities (“city ownership”).  Two recent articles highlight the relative value of these policies quite clearly. The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) of Illinois, a nonprofit ratepayer advocacy organization, just released a… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 7 Comments | Updated on Feb 8, 2013

Germany Has More Solar Power Because Everyone Wins

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

Suddenly everyone knows about Germany’s solar power dominance because Fox Newsheads made an ass of themselves, suggesting that the country is a sunny, tropical paradise.  Most media folks have figured out that there are some monster differences in policy (e.g. a feed-in tariff), but then latch on to the “Germans pay a lot extra” meme. … Continue reading

archaic utility rules barriers infographic ILSR
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 5, 2013

Utility “Gets Ready” for More Local Energy in Hawai’i

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/utility-action-means-local-energy-hawaii/

Hawai’an solar advocates are celebrating this week after the island state’s largest utility, Hawai’ian Electric (HECO) filed a plan with the public utility commission to take a “proactive approach” to adding more distributed solar to their grid system. Utilities across the country typically use “conservative blanket limits” on the amount of renewable energy allowed on… Continue reading

Solar grid parity infographic from ILSR
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Dec 17, 2012

We Need to Get Ready for a Solar Rooftop Revolution [Infographic]

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