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…
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Term for Energy
Community Choice Aggregation lets cities and counties select their own electricity provider, prioritize renewable energy and encourage conservation, without having to own the utility or the power lines. It has expanded in California, and this paper provides an update on this innovative policy. For years, the U.S. has been served by four forms of electric utility: investor-owned, cooperative, municipal, and federal (e.g. Tennessee Valley Authority). This list is changing.
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
On Sunday, April 26, David Morris addressed a crowd hosted by the DFL Education Foundation, on the challenges of developing renewable energy in a time of economic turmoil. His remarks follow:
I appreciate the opportunity to speak to this distinguished audience this evening. My charge is to address the question, “Can We Be Green in a Recession?” Or as the teaser for this meeting puts it, can we be green without green?
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.
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.
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