It was an unseasonably sunny day for part two of Minnesota’s value of solar stakeholder process: participation day. The leadoff was the Department of Commerce’s proposed approach to a value of solar methodology. Shown below, it set some broad principles the Department intends to use in the value of solar formula it develops: … Continue reading
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Minneapolis, MN (October 7, 2013) – The economy has stalled and so has the war on climate change. But a new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance describes how dozens of cities are boosting their local economies while dramatically reducing greenhouse gases. City Power Play: 8 Practical Local Energy Policies to Boost the Economy… Continue reading
Keeping Energy Dollars Local
- Chattanooga, TN, is adding over $1 billion to its local economy in the next decade by implementing one of the most advanced smart grids and delivering the fastest internet service in the country with its municipal utility.
- Sonoma County, CA, has created nearly 800 local jobs retrofitting over 2,000 properties for energy savings with city-based financing.
- Babylon, NY, has re-purposed a solid waste fund to finance retrofits for 2% of the city’s homes, saving residents an average of $1,300 a year on their energy bills at minimal cost to the city.
Eight Powerful, Practical Policies
This report details eight practical energy policies cities can and have used to their economic advantage: Continue reading
A vividly visual summary of our newest report, City Power Play: 8 Practical Local Energy Policies to Boost the Economy, this presentation covers eight powerful policies and practices that cities have employed to reduce energy use, save money, and create local jobs, all without waiting for someone else to act. It provides short case studies… Continue reading
What is solar worth to a utility? It’s an issue of national debate, but one unexpected state – Minnesota – is engaging a formal process for determining the methodology for setting the value of solar. As the first multi-utility process, it’s likely to set a precedent nationwide for what the “value of solar” will mean… 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
A friend at Fresh Energy generously called me the “architect” of Minnesota’s new solar energy standard (signed last week), and although that may be a bit generous, I’d like to provide a detailed description of the nation’s newest solar energy standard. The topline: 1.5% solar standard for the state’s investor-owned utilities (with some exemptions) for… Continue reading
A conference committee is resolving differences between House and (much weaker) Senate versions of a solar energy standard in Minnesota today. Here’s 8 graphic reasons why the state should go for solar as aggressively as it can. 8 Vivid Charts – 8 Reasons for a Solar Energy Standard in Minnesota from John Farrell Continue reading
Last week’s graphic on the impact of local permitting on the cost of solar power was a big hit, so here’s a follow up on “soft costs,” the expenses in a solar installation (including permitting) that are not the solar module. The chart compares the soft costs in the U.S. to Germany (thanks to LBNL’s… Continue reading
Going solar keeps getting cheaper, but most of the cost savings have come from less expensive solar panels. “Soft costs,” like permitting and inspections, are a rising share of the cost of a solar installation. Several years ago, these permits could increase the cost of a residential solar project (then around $8.00 per Watt) by… Continue reading