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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 18, 2014

Why Aren’t Rural Electric Cooperatives Champions of Local Clean Power?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/rural-electric-cooperatives-champions-local-clean-power/

When it comes to ownership, there are few better structures for keeping a community’s wealth local than a cooperative. So why is it that America’s rural electric cooperatives are tethered to dirty, old coal-fired power plants instead of local-wealth generating renewable power? There are a lot of answers to this question, but it might start… Continue reading

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Aug 1, 2014

With Liberty and Solar for All

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

For over 100 years, the American economy has been fueled by enormous expansion of fossil fuel energy. It has emitted a disproportionate share of its environmental impact (too much) and economic rewards (too few) on those less fortunate. More than any 21st century energy source, solar can power an equitable and environmentally sound energy future. … Continue reading

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Jul 10, 2014

Is Solar Ownership Poised for a Comeback?

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

With “no money down” and “zero maintenance” to attract homeowners, solar leasing has become the overwhelming favorite for residential solar installations. And with the complexity of tax incentives, rebates, and financing, it’s hard to find fault with homeowners that choose this low-effort option. But giving up ownership means giving up a big share of the… Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 6, 2014

Envisioning An Innovative Local Electric Utility – Episode 15 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/envisioning-innovative-local-electric-utility-episode-14-local-energy-rules/

Laboring to keep more of its energy dollars at home, community members in Boulder, CO, decided that they needed some numbers behind their vision of a cleaner energy utility.  Listen in to the podcast to hear Ken Regelson describe how the remarkable results of Boulder’s citizen-driven energy model have given them power to stand up… Continue reading

middleman
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Jan 9, 2014

The High Cost of the Solar Middleman

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

If there’s no such thing as a free lunch, then how can Americans get solar on their roof with “zero money down” and lower their electric bill?  Solar leasing, as it’s often called, is a clever market solution to poor federal and state policy design that otherwise requires Americans to do financial acrobatics to power… Continue reading

farmers electric cooperative IA
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 5, 2013

The #1 Solar Utility is in…Iowa? – Episode 12 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/1-solar-utility-in-iowa-episode-12-local-energy-rules/

It may be one of the oldest cooperative utilities in the country, but in the next six months, Farmers Electric Cooperative (FEC) of southeastern Iowa will be leading the nation in this 21st century energy source. Upon completion of a new solar array, the 640-member cooperative will have over 1,500 Watts of solar per customer… Continue reading

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 28, 2013

Public Power Means Local Control

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

Xcel Energy contends that there is “simply no advantage to forming a utility in the way that Boulder is attempting.” This unsupported statement gives me pause and compels me to set the record straight. The public power option is not new. Local communities have long had the right to own and operate their own electric… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Sep 5, 2013

A “shot across the bow” for Real. Local. Power.

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/shot-bow-real-local-power/

In 2011, citizens of Boulder, CO, opted to oust their monopoly, corporate electric utility for a locally owned, cleaner, more affordable model despite being outspent 10-to-1.  They’ve since shown that a locally owned utility could deliver 54% renewable energy, lower greenhouse gas emissions by half, and all at a cost as good or better than… Continue reading

Cheering over new solar installation
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Jun 20, 2013

The One Thing Obama’s Climate Policy Can’t Leave Out

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

When President Obama unveils his climate policy proposal in the coming days, he should focus on the one key element of successful climate and energy policy.  It’s not about utilities or incentives or numbers, it’s about ownership. Climate-protecting energy policy succeeds when communities can keep their energy dollars local by directly owning and profiting from… Continue reading

ontario FIT expect delays cover
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on May 20, 2013

Expect Delays: Reviewing Ontario’s “Buy Local” Renewable Energy Program

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/expect-delays-reviewing-ontarios-buy-local-renewable-energy-program/

Launched in 2009, Ontario’s “buy local” Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program promised to deliver hundreds of megawatts of new renewable energy and create 50,000 new jobs by the end of 2012. The program has had some notable achievements, and the province has worked hard to remedy some of the remaining roadblocks to success. The bottom line… Continue reading