With has the potential to become one of the nation’s fastest spreading local renewable energy programs, the Berkeley city council last night voted unanimously to use the city’s bonding authority to finance rooftop solar on residential properties. The city will pay the upfront costs and property owners will repay those costs over 20 years through a special assessment on their property tax bills. If a person moves, the solar system will stay at the property and the new owners will assume the remaining years of the assessment.
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Term for Energy
ILSR vice president, David Morris, responds to Al Gore’s recent speech proposing a 10 year effort to move the United States to a 100% renewable energy electric system to address three major crises: the weak economy, catastrophic climate change and the dire national security problems inherent in our dependence on imported oil. Morris says that Gore got got two out of three right. Continue reading
For Immediate Release PRESS RELEASE CONTACT: 612-276-3456 New Powerline Study Finds That Local Wind Energy Generation Can Avoid New Transmission Lines Abundant Opportunity Identified for New Community-Based Renewable Energy Development Throughout Minnesota Minneapolis, Minn.— (June 17, 2008). Yesterday, the Minnesota Department of Commerce released the findings of the first of two major powerline studies… Continue reading
Can residential rooftop solar compete with new utility-scale concentrating solar electric plants? Only if federal and state incentives are amended to level the playing field. This May 2008 report explores the economics of solar PV and concentrating solar and shows how local ownership is hindered unless government solar incentives change.
A wind turbine can power up to 600 homes, but 600 homeowners can’t get together to own a wind turbine. Why? Because federal law makes local ownership virtually impossible. The federal wind-energy incentives — up for renewal this year — discriminate against local ownership and favor absentee ownership. They also severely restrict the number of investors who can finance wind-energy generators.
A debate between advocates of distributed and centralized renewable energy systems is just beginning. It is overdue. Consideration of scale in renewable energy systems has been delayed in part because we first had to bring solar energy in all its forms to market, and in part because the distributed nature of renewable energy resources seemed inexorably to lead to their being harnessed in distributed fashion.
A typical 2 megawatt wind turbine provides enough electricity for around 600 average American homes. So why is it nearly impossible for those same 600 households to pool their resources and own a wind turbine?
A new policy brief by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) shows how removing two barriers to owning and investing in renewable energy projects can pave the way for true energy independence.
Regulations coming into force in April and May 2008 will bring a wealth of energy and environmental information to homebuyers in the United Kingdom. Potential buyers will get an Energy Performance Certificate and a mandatory comparison of the new home to the requirements contained in the UK’s Code for Sustainable Homes as part of home information packets (HIPs) prior to purchasing the home.
Updating a pathbreaking 2003 report, ILSR’s March 2008 report, Driving Our Way to Energy Independence, describes how commercially available technologies today could transform our petroleum powered transportation system into one powered by electricity and biofuels. Provisions in the recently passed Energy Act could accelerate that transformation. Continue reading