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germany people powered 2012.003
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 3 Comments | Updated on May 15, 2013

Half of Germany’s 63,000 Megawatts of Renewable Energy is Locally Owned

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/germanys-63000-megawatts-renewable-energy-locally-owned/

Courtesy of Craig Morris and the Germany Renewable Energy industry, evidence that Germany’s renewable energy program remains people powered.  Total megawatts represent wind and solar only. Continue reading

MN solar standard 8 vivid charts
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on May 13, 2013

8 Vivid Charts – 8 Reasons for a Solar Energy Standard in Minnesota

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/8-vivid-charts-8-reasons-solar-energy-standard-minnesota/

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

community renewable energy presentation - sustainable economies law center.001
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 3 Comments | Updated on May 3, 2013

5 Barriers to and Solutions for Community Renewable Energy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/5-barriers-solutions-community-renewable-energy/

Community renewable energy has significant political and economic benefits, but is often hindered by five major barriers. Watch this vividly illustrated presentation to learn how communities can overcome the barriers and advance more local renewable energy. ILSR Senior Researcher John Farrell gave this presentation as part of a Sustainable Economies Law Center webinar on April… Continue reading

100AnnGRULogo
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on May 2, 2013

Florida City a World Leader in Solar: Episode 8 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/florida-city-world-leader-solar-capita-episode-8-local-energy-rules/

“It’s the only time I’ve done a rate increase when nobody was opposed,” says Ed Regan of the Gainesville utility’s feed-in tariff for solar power.  The program, launched in 2009, has resulted in nearly 15 megawatts of new, local solar energy generation on or near buildings in the northeast Florida town, enough to make it… Continue reading

Lowering Soft Costs Means Big Solar Savings
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 29, 2013

Soft Costs Make a Bigger Difference as Solar Gets Cheap

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

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

chart solar cost and permitting 2013
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 26, 2013

Local Permitting Makes a Bigger Difference as Solar Gets Cheap

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

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

Minnesota's Proposed Solar Energy Standard in Comparison
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 25, 2013

Minnesota’s Proposed Solar Standard in Comparison

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

Some Minnesota legislators are getting a little weak-kneed listening to utility lobbyists make hugely ironic claims about the cost of the proposed solar standard and thinking about how much solar this is. Time for some context. The originally proposed 10% solar energy standard might have been ambitious by national standards, but the current 4% by… Continue reading

Xcel Energy should use solar for peak power
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 5 Comments | Updated on Apr 17, 2013

New Peak Power Capacity Should Use Solar, Not Gas

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

It’s parochial, since I’m a Minnesota resident, but I just can’t stand that our state’s largest utility, Xcel Energy, is planning to use ratepayer money to buy three new natural gas fired peaking plants instead of a) installing solar power or b) supporting the proposed solar energy standard.  Share the graphic below if you agree:… Continue reading

truth stretched
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Apr 17, 2013

Proposed Solar Standard is Cheap Compared to Minnesota Utilities’ Rate Increases

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/proposed-solar-standard-cheap-compared-minnesota-utilities-rate-increases/

If you’re a state legislator in Minnesota, here are a few grains of salt to season the message you’ve been getting from electric utilities about the proposed solar energy standard.  The bill (HF956/SF901) requires most utilities to get 4% of their energy from solar by 2025 and offers a standard, fixed-price contract to distributed solar energy… Continue reading

Pinocchio_Lying
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 16, 2013

Proposed Solar Standard is Cheap Compared to Minnesota Utilities’ Rate Increases

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

If you’re a state legislator in Minnesota, here’s a few grains of salt to season the message you’ve been getting from electric utilities about the proposed solar energy standard.  The bill (HF956/SF901) requires most utilities to get 4% of their energy from solar by 2025 and offers a standard, fixed-price contract to distributed solar energy producers… Continue reading