The rapid changes to the electricity system being wrought by distributed solar have utilities crying out, and they’ve poured much of their distributed solar angst into a chart being shared throughout the energy nerdocracy – the duck. The Duck Chart, Showing Net Supply/Demand on the California Grid in 2012-13, Forecast through 2020 Until 2012, daily energy… Continue reading
Viewing the grid tag archive
A terrific video explains why utility investments in “baseload” coal and nuclear power plants are acting against increasing renewable energy. Credit to EnergyShouldBe, a website created by one of the technical analysts helping Boulder, CO, pursue a more local, renewable energy system. My one caveat is that flexibility of a utility system varies by utility. … Continue reading
This panel asks ‘who’s your energy daddy?’ and for now it remains large, investor-owned utilities, and ostensibly locally-focused rural cooperatives and municipal utilities. But the energy landscape of today gives me uncomfortable reminders of the Athenian tragedy by Sophocles - the Oedipus tale. John Farrell, ILSR’s Director of Democratic Energy, gave this panel presentation at the 23rd… Continue reading
Comments to the Minnesota Division of Energy Resources Re: Value of Solar Stakeholder Process From: Institute for Local Self-Reliance John Farrell, Director of Democratic Energy Date: September 20, 2013 Background The value of solar component of the state’s new solar energy standard must be considered in the context of the state’s energy goals, expressed… Continue reading
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
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
Like many cities attempting to solve climate change at a local level, Minneapolis is finding the prospect more challenging that it may have imagined. The lion’s share of emissions (two-thirds in the case of Minneapolis) come from electricity and gas sold by two monopoly, corporate utilities. Minnesota’s state-level policy is helping: a renewable energy standard… Continue reading
A 5-minute video explaining CLEAN Contracts (a.k.a. feed-in tariffs) in simple terms. It’d be great if it used a name for the policy that’s in common circulation, but since I was guilty of using Renewable Energy Payments, too, I shouldn’t complain. How Renewable Energy Payments (REPs) Work. from Chris Neidl on Vimeo. Continue reading
A presentation summarizing ILSR’s reports on the local solar opportunity as unsubsidized solar becomes competitive with retail electricity prices in nearly every state over the next decade. Read the reports and view our other multimedia resources on solar parity. Is Your Utility Ready for a Solar Rooftop Revolution? from John Farrell Continue reading
Minneapolis, MN —Within a decade, more than 35 million buildings may be generating their own solar electricity (without subsidies) at prices lower than their utility offers, sufficient to power almost 10% of the country.
That’s the powerful headline from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s latest report, Commercial Rooftop Revolution. Despite the opportunity, utilities, regulators, and policy markers are largely unprepared for the surge of local solar power.