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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

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Nov 27, 2012

Going Local Gives More Value to Solar Power

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

Update: you can now read the whole essay – Wide-scale Implementation of Solar Power I just read an essay by a Canadian utility executive arguing that solar is the most economic energy source, and he systematically dismantles the notion that “cheap baseload coal” is more competitive that solar electricity. First: Solar is Cheaper Than Coal… Continue reading

JF eTopia News interview screenshot
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by admin | 1 Comment | Updated on Nov 20, 2012

The Future of Energy is Democratic

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

eTopia, November 19, 2012 An eTopia News interview with ILSR Senior Researcher John Farrell.  John describes how renewable energy, by its nature, decentralizes the generation of energy and that the dispersion of power generation means local ownership is a natural complement to renewable energy, expanding both its economic and political impact. Click below to watch… Continue reading

Clean Break cover
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Nov 14, 2012

Clean Break Inspires Americans to Pursue “Energy Change”

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/clean-break-inspires-americans-pursue-energy-change/

Friend and renewable energy journalist Osha Gray Davidson released a book today called Clean Break, detailing the German Energiewende (translation: energy change).  It’s a story of how the Germans systematically shifted to clean energy, finding as they proceeded that the possibilities were greater, the costs lower, and the benefits for ordinary citizens more prodigious than… Continue reading

John Farrell
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Nov 9, 2012

Finding Value in Distributed Generation, Before it Finds You

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

ILSR Senior Researcher John Farrell is giving this presentation to a collaborative meeting of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the National Association of Regulatory Commissioners (NARUC) this weekend.  It highlights the proven value of distributed solar to utility grid systems and the urgent need for regulators and utilities to incorporate this value into… Continue reading

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

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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

Barriers to Distributed Renewable Energy web.010
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Oct 9, 2012

Barriers to Distributed Renewable Energy

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

A presentation by ILSR Senior Researcher John Farrell to a Disaster Law class at William Mitchell Law School on 9/17/12.  It examines the five major barriers to the expansion of community-based and conventional distributed renewable energy, including the tradition of utility control, raising capital, cash flow, legal, and utilities themselves.  View the presentation below:   Barriers… 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

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Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 13 Comments | Updated on Sep 7, 2012

Minnesota’s First Community Solar Project is Minnesota-Made

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

Update 12/20/12: This project includes battery storage. Just last month, the Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association, serving communities just north and west of the Twin Cities metropolitan area, announced Minnesota’s first community solar project.  The 40 kW solar array will be located at the cooperative’s headquarters, with members allowed to purchase individual panels in the project… Continue reading