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Santa Fe
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 16, 2014

A David and Goliath Fight to Tap World Class Solar – Episode 14 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/david-goliath-fight-tap-world-class-solar-episode-14-local-energy-rules/

“It’s the most inspirational work that I’m doing…this is an inspirational and aspirational effort…at the heart of it is love of place and energy democracy.” Citizens of Santa Fe, NM, are exploring the economic and environmental benefits of more local and locally-controlled energy production.  Is their city ready to take the lead? Find out in… 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

Federal Subsidies
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Wade | No Comments | Updated on Dec 26, 2013

Planning for Phasing Out Incentives

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

Over the next decade, solar electricity will let consumers get cheaper energy from their rooftop than from their utility. Among the upheaval in the electricity system, the coming of solar “grid parity” means re-thinking incentives for solar energy. The success of solar is remarkable, no less because the amount of federal subsidy in absolute terms… Continue reading

michael-deering-web
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 19, 2013

How Solar Saves on Grid Costs – Episode 13 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/solar-saves-grid-costs-episode-13-local-energy-rules/

“We can avoid that $100 million investment in transmission lines, distribution lines, in capital infrastructure…” How can a utility like Long Island Power Authority avoid all that new capital expenditure?  Find out in this interview with Vice President of Environmental Affairs Michael Deering, recorded via Skype on November 25, 2013. Customer-Powered Utility The first question… Continue reading

solar nokomis hardware
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 12, 2013

What the REC?! Final Comments on Minnesota’s Proposed Value of Solar

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

The final stakeholder meeting took place in mid-November (right before the holiday, hence the delayed post) and Minnesota’s draft value of solar methodology reflects a thorough and careful accounting of the value of solar to the utility, ratepayers, and society. With the exception of the two issues mentioned explicitly below, I believe the robust formula… Continue reading

farmers electric cooperative IA
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 5, 2013

The #1 Solar Utility is in…Iowa? – Episode 12 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/1-solar-utility-in-iowa-episode-12-local-energy-rules/

It may be one of the oldest cooperative utilities in the country, but in the next six months, Farmers Electric Cooperative (FEC) of southeastern Iowa will be leading the nation in this 21st century energy source. Upon completion of a new solar array, the 640-member cooperative will have over 1,500 Watts of solar per customer… Continue reading

xcel bullshit value of solar 2.003
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 25, 2013

Big Utility’s Two-Faced Talk on Low-Carbon Energy [infographic]

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/big-utility-two-faced-on-low-carbon-energy/

What happens when a monopoly utility sees a threat to their business model? A lot of two-faced talking to regulators about the best carbon-free energy sources. Read here for more background.     Like what you see?  Get a weekly email on Democratic Energy, or follow us on Twitter: Continue reading

two-faced xcel
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 24, 2013

Monopoly Utility (n): see “two-faced”

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

Two weeks ago, I listened – incredulously – to Minnesota’s largest utility, Xcel Energy, suggest that solar energy offers its ratepayers no value as an environmental hedge against carbon emissions or as a price hedge against natural gas fuel price fluctuations. But just three days later, Xcel was singing a different tune [docket pdf] to… Continue reading

baseload must go video screengrab
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Oct 16, 2013

Why Coal and Nuclear (Baseload) Are Not Compatible with a Renewable Future

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/coal-nuclear-baseload-compatible-renewable-future/

A terrific video explains why utility investments in “baseload” coal and nuclear power plants are acting against increasing renewable energy.  Credit to EnergyShouldBe, a website created by one of the technical analysts helping Boulder, CO, pursue a more local, renewable energy system. My one caveat is that flexibility of a utility system varies by utility. … Continue reading

Winter solar panels Minnesota
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 8, 2013

Debating the Value of Solar – Pt. 2 of Minnesota’s Process

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/debating-solar-pt-2-minnesotas-process/

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