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wind turbines sunrise - flickr David Clarke
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jul 27, 2015

A Rising Wind: Better Tech Means Greater State Wind Potential

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/a-rising-wind-better-tech-means-greater-state-wind-potential/

For states looking to reduce their reliance on dirty, imported energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory brings good news on the wind. In a May 2015 report, significantly more wind power potential was found in nearly every state thanks to advancing turbine technology. In 2015, 40 states could produce 50% or more of their annual electricity… Continue reading

rooftop solar house germany - Tim Fuller flickr
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 25, 2015

Solar Net Metering a Subsidy to Utilities?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/solar-net-metering-a-subsidy-to-utilities/

When Robert Nohavec of Park City, Utah; Jabbar Graham from Cherry Hill, New Jersey; and Don Born, of Waldoboro, Maine installed solar on their homes, they had something unexpected in common. They were all giving back to their electric company and their community. That’s because solar energy systems tend to provide more value to the… Continue reading

postcards from florida screengrab
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 12, 2015

Dear Hawaii: Read Your Mail Before Your Utility Sells Out

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/dear-hawaii-read-your-mail-before-your-utility-sells-out/

If your electricity—generated from imported oil—is the most expensive in the country and your solar resource is terrific, you’d expect your electric company to be making great strides toward renewable energy. On Hawai’i, the progress toward clean energy is in limbo, because island’s largest electric utility—largely owned by islanders—is likely to be acquired by mainland… Continue reading

us power plant capacity additions quarterly ILSR 2015-0610
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | 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

public domain computer-screen w PUBLIC ROOFTOP REVOLUTION
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 10, 2015

Public Rooftop Revolution in Pictures

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

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

kansas city KCMO solar 2
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 3, 2015

Kansas City’s Royal Effort to Solarize City Rooftops – Episode 25 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/kansas-citys-royal-effort-to-solarize-city-rooftops/

Kansas City, MO, has neither the abundant sunshine nor high cost of electricity that have driven solar installations in other cities. Despite this, the city has close to 1.5 MW of solar in 59 separate installations on municipal properties. Thanks to utility rebates, two department leaders, and a unique opportunity that allowed it to access… Continue reading

stone arch and power line
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 2, 2015

Don’t Count On It: First City-Utility Clean Energy Work Plan Short on Specifics

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/dont-count-on-it-first-clean-energy-work-plan-short/

On Friday, the nation’s first clean energy partnership between a city and its utilities released its first two-year work plan. It holds true to the notion that the city and utilities can work across a broad swath of energy initiatives in pursuit of increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy. Update 6/16/15: added in list of… Continue reading

5 gigs municipal solar
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | 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 panels and mountains - flickr Bart Speelman
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on May 26, 2015

The Hole in Brian Potts’ WSJ Critique of the “Solar-Panel Craze.”

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/the-hole-in-brian-potts-wsj-critique-of-the-solar-panel-craze/

In his Sunday Wall Street Journal commentary on May 17, Brian Potts suggests that cost is the bottom line in the electric customer shift to solar, and that rooftop solar costs too much. But his defense of the utility’s view of energy costs leaves a big hole in the big picture: the value of solar… Continue reading

Installed-Capacity-by-Fuel-Type_March2015_supply-mix-page
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on May 8, 2015

A Lesson in Solar from a Northern Neighbor

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/a-lesson-in-solar-from-a-northern-neighbor/

Based on population, Ontario would be the 5th largest state if it were part of the U.S., but its installed solar capacity, 1,500 MW would rank it 3rd. The province has also shut down all its coal-fired power plants. How does a northern province become a solar and climate leader, despite one of the poorest… Continue reading