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Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | 1 Comment | Updated on Apr 16, 2014

DSL Described as “Obsolete” by the American Enterprise Institute

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

“The vast majority of Europeans still only have DSL service available, which we in the United States consider really almost an obsolete technology now.” – Jeffrey Eisenbach, Director of the Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy, American Enterprise Institute. For the second time this year, one of the major defenders of the cable and… Continue reading

future of solar presentation cover
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Apr 9, 2014

An Enormous Question for ‘Solar Choice’

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

Two weeks ago, Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission ratified the first-ever statewide policy for setting a fair and transparent price on solar energy. This week, a coalition of companies that provide leasing contracts for solar to home and business customers declared war on this “value of solar” policy, and pretty much every financial model for compensating… Continue reading

consumerist-sounds-off-on-internet-essentials-and-comcasts-hidden-agenda
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Apr 9, 2014

Consumerist Sounds Off on Internet Essentials and Comcast’s Hidden Agenda

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/consumerist-sounds-internet-essentials-and-comcasts-hidden-agenda

In a Consumerist article, Kate Cox takes a look at who is benefitting the most from Comcast’s Internet Essentials program and – guess what – it is Comcast. The program has brought Internet access to a number of people who may not otherwise have been able to get online and that’s a good thing. According… Continue reading

mn value of solar cover
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 5 Comments | Updated on Apr 9, 2014

Minnesota’s Value of Solar

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

In March 2014, Minnesota became the first state to adopt a “value of solar” policy. It may fundamentally change the financial relationship between electric utilities and their energy-producing customers. It may also serve as a precedent for setting a transparent, market-based price for solar energy. This report explains the origins of value of solar, the… Continue reading

Dawn Weisz, Marin Clean Energy
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 3, 2014

The Leading Community Energy Aggregator – Episode 19 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/leading-community-energy-aggregator-episode-19-local-energy-rules/

Community choice aggregation describes a situation where a town can become the bulk buyer of electricity on behalf of its residential and small business customers. Such local aggregations serve about 5% of utility customers in Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and California, but it’s Marin Clean Energy in California that stands above the crowd for… Continue reading

fcc-rural-broadband-workshop-video
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Apr 1, 2014

FCC Rural Broadband Workshop Video

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/fcc-rural-broadband-workshop-video

In case you missed it, you can still stream the FCC’s Rural Broadband Workshop. The announcement describes the event: The workshop will include an examination of the broadband needs of rural populations and the unique challenges of both broadband deployment and adoption in rural areas.  In addition, the discussion will highlight the economic, educational, and healthcare… Continue reading

EnergyStorageImage
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 26, 2014

Energy Storage: The Next Charge for Distributed Energy

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

Energy storage promises to change the electricity system during the next decade, as fundamentally as distributed renewable energy has in the last decade. A new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Energy Storage: The Next Charge for Distributed Energy, forecasts where the battleground is shaping up. The report also details promising examples of local… Continue reading

to-overbuild-or-underbuild-a-rural-policy-conundrum-community-broadband-bits-podcast-91
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Mar 25, 2014

To Overbuild or Underbuild? A Rural Policy Conundrum – Community Broadband Bits Podcast #91

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/overbuild-or-underbuild-rural-policy-conundrum-community-broadband-bits-podcast-91

Lisa Gonzalez and I, Christopher Mitchell, are back in studio for a short conversation about the implications of a municipal network or a coop receiving subsidies from government to engage in overbuilding, where it builds a fiber network in an area already served by slow DSL and cable networks. This has become an important issue… Continue reading

state policy battlegrounds over net metering and distributed generation 2014-0321
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 19, 2014

Distributed Renewable Energy Under Fire

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

I developed this map as a side project while I was working on explaining the value of solar and its potential role in addressing conflicts between utilities and customers over distributed renewable energy like solar. I’ve received several updates since it was originally published, so here’s the updated map. For some context on the contention… Continue reading

SolarWorksInMN1 250
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 3 Comments | Updated on Mar 13, 2014

Could Minnesota’s “Value of Solar” Make Everyone a Winner?

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

On Wednesday, Minnesota became the first state to allow utilities a new method of contracting with distributed solar producers, called the market-based “value of solar.” If adopted by utilities, it will fundamentally change the relationship between solar-producing customers and their electric utility. Following Minnesota’s Value of Solar Process? Here are a few resources: Part 1… Continue reading