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electric company monopoly - Mike Fleming via Flickr
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 1, 2015

Why Utilities Are Hating on Their Solar-Producing Customers

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/why-utilities-are-hating-on-their-solar-producing-customers/

I have the privilege of talking to a lot of reporters about rooftop solar energy, and particularly about why utilities seem hell bent on stopping their customers from using their own money to add clean, renewable energy to the electric grid. If this seems confusing to you, too, here’s a quick primer with some key… Continue reading

us power plant capacity additions 2003-2014 ILSR
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 10, 2015

Small-Scale Solar Contributes 13% of New Power Plant Capacity in 2014

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/small-scale-solar-contributes-13-power-plants-2014/

The growth of solar has continued at a furious pace, with a new record of 6.2 gigawatts installed in the United States in 2014. But the bigger tale may be the persistent growth of small-scale solar, on residential and non-residential rooftops (and property).  These projects, a megawatt or smaller, contributed 13% of new power plant… Continue reading

residential solar and power plant capacity 2013.003
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 16, 2014

2 Charts Show Solar’s Jump to Top Spot for New U.S. Power Generation

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/2-charts-show-solars-jump-top-spot-u-s-power-generation/

Want proof that distributed solar is rapidly growing?  Look no further than these two charts, showing how solar provided over a quarter of new power plant capacity in 2013 (6% from residential solar alone!) and 43% in the first half of this year! This article originally posted at ilsr.org. For timely updates, follow John Farrell on… Continue reading

Photo: Walmart Store
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | 1 Comment | Updated on Oct 9, 2014

Walton Family Undermining Rooftop Solar, ILSR Report Finds

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

The Walton family — majority owners of Walmart — are impeding America’s transition to a clean energy future, a new study by ILSR finds. At a time when more than 500,000 households and businesses are generating their own solar electricity, and the U.S. solar industry is employing 143,000 people, the Waltons are funding nearly two dozen organizations working to roll back renewable energy policies, while a Walton-owned company is pushing for regulations aimed at hindering the growth of rooftop solar power. Continue reading

grassroots -  Daniel Schroeder flickr
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Sep 19, 2014

Solar and the New (democratic) Energy Economy

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

I spent three days this week with some of the biggest minds behind the “new economy” movement because their core theme – economic democracy – fits like a glove over ILSR’s work on democratic energy. The big takeaway? Solar power is the spark to energize a new energy economy from the bottom up. This new… Continue reading

midwest solar expo web version 2014-0516
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on May 19, 2014

Midwest Solar Market: Hot or Not?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/midwest-solar-market-hot-not/

Is solar ready to boom in the Midwest, or does poor policy still stand in the way? This presentation by Institute for Local Self-Reliance Director of Democratic Energy John Farrell to the Midwest Solar Expo on May 16, 2014, explores the potential, the economics, and the policy needed to help solar power the Midwest. Download… Continue reading

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 | 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