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rooftop solar house germany - Tim Fuller flickr
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 25, 2015

Solar Net Metering a Subsidy to Utilities?

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

When Robert Nohavec of Park City, Utah; Jabbar Graham from Cherry Hill, New Jersey; and Don Born, of Waldoboro, Maine installed solar on their homes, they had something unexpected in common. They were all giving back to their electric company and their community. That’s because solar energy systems tend to provide more value to the… Continue reading

stone arch and power line
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 2, 2015

Don’t Count On It: First City-Utility Clean Energy Work Plan Short on Specifics

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/dont-count-on-it-first-clean-energy-work-plan-short/

On Friday, the nation’s first clean energy partnership between a city and its utilities released its first two-year work plan. It holds true to the notion that the city and utilities can work across a broad swath of energy initiatives in pursuit of increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy. Update 6/16/15: added in list of… Continue reading

beyond utility 2 cover image
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Apr 22, 2015

Beyond Utility 2.0: Part 1 “A Prelude to the Future”

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/beyond-utility-2-0-part-1-prelude/

The U.S. electricity system is undergoing the biggest change in its 130-­year history. The scale of electricity generation is rapidly shrinking, from coal and nuclear power plants that can power a million homes to solar and wind power plants that power a few to a few hundred nearby homes. Electricity demand has leveled off, so… Continue reading

sunset in georgetown tx - flickr Jim Nix
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 14, 2015

Can Other Cities Match Georgetown’s Low-Cost Switch to 100% Wind and Sun?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/can-other-cities-match-georgetowns-low-cost-switch-to-100-wind-and-sun/

This is probably not the first place you’ve read about Georgetown, TX, the town of 55,000 that will be getting the equivalent of 100% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2017. But few articles hit upon the two key reasons Georgetown was able to make this move when so many other cities with abundant… Continue reading

on air wnhn
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 16, 2015

Can an Old Utility (dog) Learn New Tricks?

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

Arnie Arnesen interviewed ILSR’s Director of Democratic Energy John Farrell on WNHN’s The Attitude last week, seeking an answer to this question: can we expect electric utilities to embrace the energy sources of the future, like solar? Electric Utilities Play by the (Old) Rules Arnie and John discussed the hesitance of utilities to embrace innovation… Continue reading

applause sign - flickr Princess Theater
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Nov 7, 2014

Are Utilities or States the Leaders in Renewable Energy and Efficiency?

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

A June 2014 study by Ceres highlighted the top electric utilities for renewable energy and efficiency. In an article discussing the findings, Utility Dive suggested that there are “wide disparities […] in the extent to which electric utilities currently deliver renewable energy and energy efficiency.” To find the source of these disparities, look no further… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Oct 30, 2014

Democratic Energy Media Roundup – October 27, 2014

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/democratic-energy-media-roundup-october-27-2014/

This week in democratic energy, ILSR received considerable coverage in several publications. Media reports also discussed the future of utilities, the Energy Department’s significant investment in solar, and a new study examining how peer influence affects who installs solar. John Farrell, Director of ILSR’s Democratic Energy initiative, was cited in multiple articles. In Yes! Magazine,… Continue reading

future of solar presentation cover
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 10 Comments | Updated on Apr 9, 2014

An Enormous Question for ‘Solar Choice’

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

Two weeks ago, Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission ratified the first-ever statewide policy for setting a fair and transparent price on solar energy. This week, a coalition of companies that provide leasing contracts for solar to home and business customers declared war on this “value of solar” policy, and pretty much every financial model for compensating… 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