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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.ilsr.org/michael-powell-said-what-why-everyone-should-ignore-the-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

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.ilsr.org/consumerist-sounds-off-on-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
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 16 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.ilsr.org/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