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Population at Grid Parity and Residential Rooftop Solar MW
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Wade | No Comments | Updated on Jun 18, 2013

The Solar Opportunity

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

The coming of solar grid parity offers an opportunity for millions of Americans to go solar affordably. But it also means a potential transformation, a democratization of an electricity system long dominated by centrally-controlled utilities and centralized ownership and production of electricity. When solar can undercut grid electricity prices, it may also undercut this 20th… Continue reading

Cost of Residential p.3
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Wade | 1 Comment | Updated on Apr 4, 2013

Solar Costs and Grid Prices On a Collision Course

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

With the cost of solar continuing to fall rapidly (50% in the past five years) and electricity prices rising steadily, if slowly, the approach of solar grid parity is near. The following chart illustrates the trajectory of solar cost and electricity price, hinting at the coming intersection. 1 The chart compares the cost of a… Continue reading

commercial solar grid parity report ILSR 2012 cover page
Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Energy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 2, 2013

Is Your Utility Ready? New Report Says Local Solar Could Power 10% of Country in 10 Years

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/utility-ready-report-local-solar-power-10-country-10-years/

Minneapolis, MN —Within a decade, more than 35 million buildings may be generating their own solar electricity (without subsidies) at prices lower than their utility offers, sufficient to power almost 10% of the country.

That’s the powerful headline from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s latest report, Commercial Rooftop Revolution. Despite the opportunity, utilities, regulators, and policy markers are largely unprepared for the surge of local solar power.

Read the report, view the interactive map, and more

Continue reading

Solar grid parity infographic from ILSR
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Dec 17, 2012

We Need to Get Ready for a Solar Rooftop Revolution [Infographic]

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/get-ready-solar-rooftop-revolution/
commercial solar grid parity report ILSR 2012 cover page
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 15 Comments | Updated on Dec 4, 2012

Commercial Rooftop Revolution

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

Although only 0.1% of electricity is generated by solar power in 2012; within a decade, 300,000 MW of unsubsidized solar power will be at parity with retail electricity prices in most of the United States and more than 35 million buildings may be generating their own solar electricity sufficient to power almost 10% of the country. Continue reading

gchart-solar-lease-price-premium-solarcity-1
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 6 Comments | Updated on Oct 10, 2012

Treasury Dept. Fingers Solarcity in Exploration of the Dark Underbelly of Solar Leasing

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

A new government investigation of Solarcity on the eve of its initial public offering (IPO) may explain how solar leasing is fleecing federal taxpayers and making U.S. residential solar more expensive than in other countries. The Treasury Department inspector general is probing solar leasing company SolarCity (and others) for its use of “fair market value”… Continue reading

German v US residential PV costs
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 5 Comments | Updated on Sep 20, 2012

Why Are Residential PV Prices in Germany So Much Lower Than in the United States?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/residential-pv-prices-germany-united-states/

Earlier this week, Lawrence Berkeley Labs released a marvelous comparison of residential PV costs in Germany and the United States, finally putting some detail to an enormous gulf in costs (nearly $3.00 per Watt).  The following chart (from page 35 of the presentation) shows the cost difference broken down into 9 categories, with ILSR’s addition… Continue reading

Paperwork-300x225
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 7 Comments | Updated on Jul 10, 2012

Why We Pay Double for Solar in America (But Won’t Forever)

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

Update 12/21/12: Corrected chart.  Overhead and Sales Tax had been switched in the German data column. I often get flak when I publish research on the cost trajectory for solar (e.g. my Rooftop Revolution report estimates 100 million Americans reaching grid parity by 2021).  About half think I’m too conservative, and half think I’m too… Continue reading

gchart-usa-germany-household-electricity-consumption
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 5 Comments | Updated on May 11, 2012

Could the U.S. Cut Household Electricity Use by Two-Thirds?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/u-s-cut-household-electricity-two-thirds/

Your mind-blowing chart of the day, courtesy of Arne Jungjohann at the Heinrich Böll Foundation. Source for U.S. use; source for German use; used U.S. average household size of 2.6. Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 7 Comments | Updated on May 4, 2012

Who Has the Most Cost-Effective Solar Feed-in Tariff?

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

In a forthcoming report on U.S. feed-in tariff programs, I’ll provide a comparison of solar feed-in tariff (FIT, a.k.a. CLEAN Contract) rates across the United States. Comparing published rates is not particularly helpful, however, because contract lengths vary (from 15 to 25 years) and the solar resource also varies widely.  For international comparisons (e.g. Germany), it’s… Continue reading