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population at grid parity 10 years
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 21, 2014

Rooftop Revolution – Appendix

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

This wraps up the serialized edition of our residential Rooftop Revolution report.  Read the whole report in short segments below, or download the report and other resources. Part 1 – The Coming Solar Electricity Transformation Part 2 – Solar Costs and Grid Prices On a Collision Course Part 3 – The Solar Opportunity Part 4… Continue reading

top-5
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 2, 2014

Democratic Energy’s Top 5 of 2013

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/democratic-energys-top-5-2013/

Rooftop Revolution A combination resource of our two reports on residential and commercial solar grid parity, including a slideshow, infographic, and an amazing interactive map (#5 on this list by itself).       Germany Has More Solar Power Because Everyone Wins It got press because someone at Fox News thought Germany was sunnier than… Continue reading

solar gas infographic xcel
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Sep 16, 2013

Utility Agrees: (Their) Solar Should Supplant Natural Gas

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/utility-agrees-their-solar-supplant-natural-gas/

Five months ago, one of the country’s ten largest electric utilities told regulators in Minnesota that it needed three new natural gas power plants to handle peak energy demand.  This week, the same company’s Colorado division announced plans to use more solar power because it is cost competitive with gas. Maybe they need a memo… Continue reading

Cost of Residential p.3
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Wade | No Comments | 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

Cost of Residential Solar v. US Residential Retail
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Wade | 1 Comment | Updated on Mar 27, 2013

The Coming Solar Electricity Transformation

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

Solar cells are unusual in that they were cost-competitive from the get-go. From the Apollo space program to highway signs to lighting for buoys, solar could replace highly expensive power from batteries or other sources and eliminate the need for the construction of electric distribution lines.1 When the Institute for Local Self-Reliance was founded in… Continue reading

Screenshot of Whiteboard video of Rooftop Revolution research
Article, ILSR Press Room, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by admin | 2 Comments | Updated on Jan 24, 2013

Solar Rooftop Revolution: A Video Whiteboard

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

Solar company Renvu created a delightful whiteboard animation of the results from our Rooftop Revolution research, which automatically makes them cooler than the average solar company.  Check it out below or on Youtube. Continue reading

commercial solar grid parity cover.001
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 4, 2013

Is Your Utility Ready for a Solar Rooftop Revolution?

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

A presentation summarizing ILSR’s reports on the local solar opportunity as unsubsidized solar becomes competitive with retail electricity prices in nearly every state over the next decade. Read the reports and view our other multimedia resources on solar parity. Is Your Utility Ready for a Solar Rooftop Revolution? from John Farrell 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/
Rooftop Solar PV installation
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Oct 31, 2012

What Utilities Can Do for Distributed Solar

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

Last week the Minnesota Public Utility Commission had a rare live public comment period on Xcel Energy’s long term planning process (called an Integrated Resource Plan).  At the urging of several fellow clean energy advocates, I gave my 3 minute testimony about the enormous gulf between Xcel’s 10-year plan for solar power and the solar… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Jun 28, 2011

New York City Should Meet Half Its Peak Demand with Rooftop Solar PV

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/new-york-city-should-meet-half-its-peak-demand-rooftop-solar-pv/

The City University of New York (CUNY) released a solar map of New York City last week, allowing building owners in the city to determine the amount of solar power their roof could host.  The cumulative impact is enormous, with city rooftops capable of providing half the city’s peak power, and 14% of its annual electricity consumption.

The city should immediately maximize solar power development and start saving millions in electricity costs.

At $3.50 per Watt installed, and with the federal 30% investment tax credit (ITC), solar power in New York City can provide electricity at 16 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), a full 4 cents lower than the average residential electricity price (as reported by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s PV Watts program). 

Commercial installations that can also use the federal depreciation tax deduction could deliver electricity for nearly 12 cents per kWh, 40% lower than the average residential rate.

These prices are well within reach.  Already in the U.S., aggregate purchasing has driven down residential solar PV prices as low as $4.22 per Watt.  The average cost of rooftop solar PV installations in Germany is between $3.40 and $3.70 per Watt.  In our new report, Democratizing the Electricity System, we show that even small-scale solar is being built for under $4 per Watt in the U.S.

As it turns out, when it comes to solar self-reliance, New York City is a microcosm of the state (in solar potential if not comparative electricity price).  In our 2009 analysis, Energy Self-Reliant States, we found that New York’s statewide rooftop solar PV potential was 15% of its electricity consumption, almost identical to CUNY’s estimate of 14% of the city’s electricity use.

Whether immediately (NYC) or in the near future (NY state), it’s clear that rooftop solar PV is the route to greater energy self-reliance and electricity cost savings.

Update 7/7/11: Wow, ConEdison already has 8.5 MW of solar PV on its system, only 1,791.5 MW to go!

Continue reading