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sunset over river - satpal singh flickr
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 4 Comments | Updated on May 30, 2014

The Future of Solar Economics and Policy

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

Solar power is at a unique place in history. It’s growing rapidly, its price is falling precipitously. Within the next 10 years, it will compete favorably with utilities for electricity sales, on price, and without subsidies. Given its rapid ascent, it might seem silly to talk about change.  But the continued expansion of distributed solar… Continue reading

dive - flickr superfantastic
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on May 15, 2014

A Deep Dive on Value of Solar and the Future of Solar Energy – Episode 22 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/deep-dive-solar-future-solar-energy-episode-22-local-energy-rules/

“Utility regulation and rates is a contact sport,” says Karl Rabago, and that makes the implementation of a new “value of solar” policy complex. Will distributed solar grow better with a transparent, value-based contract price? How does it differ from net metering? Is Minnesota’s law a precedent to follow? Prepare yourself for a deep dive… Continue reading

network-neutrality-update
Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on May 12, 2014

Network Neutrality Update

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

The FCC is hearing the massive public outcry over its plan that would allow the big cable and telephone companies to create fast and slow lanes on the wires most of us depend on to access the Internet. Chairman Wheeler has made some bold claims that he would not allow commercially unreasonable deals but many… Continue reading

bill-moyers-on-network-neutrality-and-threat-from-comcast
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on May 6, 2014

Bill Moyers on Network Neutrality and Threat from Comcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/bill-moyers-network-neutrality-and-threat-comcast

Bill Moyers has returned to again discuss Network Neutrality with guests Susan Crawford and David Carr from the New York Times. The show is embedded below and well worth watching, especially toward the end as Bill reveals the revolving-door between the top levels of the Federal Communication Commission and industry lobbyists. During the show, they… Continue reading

Solar panels and skyline
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on May 5, 2014

A Little Tapped City Strategy for Boosting Local Renewable Energy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/tapped-city-strategy-boosting-local-renewable-energy/

Many cities served by private utilities think they have little capacity to encourage local renewable energy development.  But a largely untapped tool – utility franchise contracts – may hold the key. There are two kinds of city energy systems: publicly owned or privately owned. Cities with municipal utilities already have the power to implement the… Continue reading

michael-powell-said-what-why-everyone-should-ignore-the-cable-lobby
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Apr 30, 2014

Michael Powell said What?? Why Everyone Should Ignore the Cable Lobby

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/michael-powell-said-what-why-everyone-should-ignore-cable-lobby

Stop and think for a second. Would you regard the electricity grid and water system as an abysmal failure or success? If you are lobbying for cable companies in DC, you apparently think they are monumental failures. Michael Powell, former Chairman of the FCC must be dizzy after his trip through the revolving door on… Continue reading

paid-prioritization-threat-reinforces-value-of-community-networks
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Apr 24, 2014

Paid Prioritization Threat Reinforces Value of Community Networks

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

Recent reports out of the FCC say that it will allow ISPs to create and sell “fast lanes” of Internet access to the companies with sufficiently deep pockets to afford them. While some people argue over whether this violates network neutrality principles or not, the more important point is that most communities have no control over how… Continue reading

community solar people cheering - BlackRockSolar flickr
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Apr 22, 2014

Community Solar Gardens Sprouting in Minnesota

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

On April 7, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission resoundingly rejected (click the link for an annotated ruling) a severely lacking community solar gardens proposal from Xcel Energy and required substantial improvements for the utility’s revised filing. The regulatory smack-down means a promising community solar market for Minnesota (scroll down for the infographic version).    … Continue reading

american-enterprise-institute-scholar-calls-dsl-obsolete
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 | 10 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