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Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 22, 2015

Unanswered Questions about the Public Rooftop Revolution

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/unanswered-questions-about-the-public-rooftop-revolution/

At the beginning of June 2015, ILSR released its Public Rooftop Revolution report, which described how cities across the nation put the shine on municipal rooftops with more than 5,000 MW of solar. That 5,000 MW is as much as one-quarter of all solar installed in the U.S. to date — and many cities could… Continue reading

us power plant capacity additions quarterly ILSR 2015-0610
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 10, 2015

Distributed Solar Surges in Early 2015

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/distributed-solar-surges-in-early-2015/

Distributed solar was 13% of all new power plant capacity in 2014, and 2015 is starting off even bigger. Distributed residential and commercial solar installations surged 45% over the same period last year and accounted for 35% of all new power plant capacity in the first quarter of 2015. The following chart shows the quarterly… Continue reading

5 gigs municipal solar
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Jun 1, 2015

Public Rooftop Revolution Report

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

There are a lot of stories on residential rooftop solar but few if any on what cities are doing to make themselves energy self-reliant by using their own buildings and lands to generate power. In Public Rooftop Revolution, ILSR estimates that mid-sized cities could install as much as 5,000 megawatts of solar—as much as one-quarter… Continue reading

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

electric company monopoly - Mike Fleming via Flickr
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 1, 2015

Why Utilities Are Hating on Their Solar-Producing Customers

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/why-utilities-are-hating-on-their-solar-producing-customers/

I have the privilege of talking to a lot of reporters about rooftop solar energy, and particularly about why utilities seem hell bent on stopping their customers from using their own money to add clean, renewable energy to the electric grid. If this seems confusing to you, too, here’s a quick primer with some key… Continue reading

rooftop solar – Montgomery County Planning Commission flickr
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 24, 2015

Rhode Island Standard Contracts Program Grows Distributed Generation

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

This is an invited guest post from Virginia Rutter of Eutectics. By the end of 2019, Rhode Island has a goal to have 200 MW of distributed renewable energy generation in the state, most of it solar. The primary means by which Rhode Island means to meet this goal is through the use of standardized… Continue reading

computer-screen 5 pillars
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 6, 2015

Unveiling the Five Pillars of Energy Democracy

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

Exciting changes are on the horizon for our century-old utility structure as solar power, energy storage, and electric vehicles open new avenues for utility customers to produce their own power and control their energy use. Utilities are scrambling to remain relevant in this technological firestorm, and energy wonks are envisioning a new business model––Utility 2.0––that… Continue reading

rick evans and john farrell debate value of solar MNSEIA conference Nov 2014
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 30, 2015

Utility and Advocate Debate Value of Solar

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

At a Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association conference in November 2014, ILSR’s Director of Democratic Energy John Farrell tilted with Xcel Energy’s Rick Evans about the state’s dormant value of solar policy and whether it was likely to be adopted in the near future. Click the following links to see some of the biggest questions… Continue reading

luxury tax monopoly - flickr Philip Taylor
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Jan 9, 2015

Electricity’s Un-Natural Monopoly

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

The U.S. electricity system is undergoing the biggest change in its 130-year history, undermining the rationale for monopoly ownership and control. Until recently, electricity service was similar to water or roads, where a natural monopoly was most efficient. Only a single, standardized electric grid was needed to connect each building. Technology options were limited to… Continue reading

rooftop solar LA - Mike Spasoff flickr
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 6 Comments | Updated on Oct 21, 2014

We Have “Value for Solar,” but Should We Use It?

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

Earlier this year, Minnesota became the first state to formalize dozens of studies by adopting a “value of solar” formula that would fundamentally change the relationship between solar energy producers and their utility. It’s designed to have the utility accurately compensate solar energy producers for the value of solar electricity to the utility, its customers,… Continue reading