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Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 26, 2014

Energy Storage: The Next Charge for Distributed Energy

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

Energy storage promises to change the electricity system during the next decade, as fundamentally as distributed renewable energy has in the last decade. A new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Energy Storage: The Next Charge for Distributed Energy, forecasts where the battleground is shaping up. The report also details promising examples of local… Continue reading

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Jan 30, 2014

Natural Gas isn’t a Bridge Fuel, it’s a Gateway Drug

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/natural-gas-bridge-fuel-gateway-drug/

In his State of the Union, President Obama added to the conventional wisdom that supplanting coal with natural gas will act as a bridge toward a climate solution. Unfortunately, gas is more of a gateway drug than a bridge to a clean energy future. 1) It’s still a major greenhouse gas.  Sure, natural gas is… Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | 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

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Sep 13, 2013

Utility Shocked to Find It’s Already Dead

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

There’s an increasingly shrill discussion among utilities (and from their own Edison Electric Institute) about the threat to their business from distributed energy, as their customers shift to getting their own power from local renewable resources.  Reports and news stories – e.g. “Adapt or Die” – suggest changes to the business model are imminent as… Continue reading

no tax loophole
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 3 Comments | Updated on Jun 14, 2013

Reactions to My Take on Master Limited Partnerships for Renewable Energy

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

When I wrote two weeks ago that Master Limited Partnerships are a Lousy Policy for Solar, Wind, and Taxpayers, I was aware that it wasn’t a widely held view.  The piece has done more than provide another viewpoint on the complicated corporate structure, it has ignited a significant debate across the renewable energy community about… Continue reading

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 11, 2013

Texas Muni Utility Explains How They Are Already 40% Renewable

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/texas-muni-utility-explains-40-renewable/

In 2011, Boulder citizens voted to have their city take over the electric utility, joining 1 in 7 Americans served by municipal electric utilities.  The process (which will take 3-5 years) continues. In April 2013, the city council again voted to move forward, inspired this time by the example of Denton, TX, a municipal utility… Continue reading

Photo: Caleb Kenna.
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 6, 2013

Vermont’s Standard Offer Renewable Energy Program: Episode 10 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/vermonts-standard-offer-renewable-energy-program-episode-10-local-energy-rules-podcast/

“A lot of the utilities don’t totally understand this new paradigm that’s coming.” David Blittersdorf of AllEarth Renewables has been working to advance renewable energy in Vermont for years, and was instrumental in getting the state’s standard offer program (a feed-in tariff) passed in 2009.  He’s adamant that the state should accelerate its standard offer… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on May 30, 2013

Why Master Limited Partnerships are a Lousy Policy for Solar, Wind, and Taxpayers

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/master-limited-partnerships-lousy-policy-solar-or-business/

Read reactions to this piece here If you follow the renewable energy industry and haven’t been sleeping, then you’ve probably heard about one of the few pieces of federal legislation purported to help clean energy that’s actually moving: expanding Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) to cover wind and solar energy. (H.R.1696) This is not a good… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on May 20, 2013

Expect Delays: Reviewing Ontario’s “Buy Local” Renewable Energy Program

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/expect-delays-reviewing-ontarios-buy-local-renewable-energy-program/

Launched in 2009, Ontario’s “buy local” Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program promised to deliver hundreds of megawatts of new renewable energy and create 50,000 new jobs by the end of 2012. The program has had some notable achievements, and the province has worked hard to remedy some of the remaining roadblocks to success. The bottom line… Continue reading

Expect Delays - Presentation on Ontario FIT 2013.001
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on May 20, 2013

Expect Delays: a Presentation Reviewing Ontario’s “Buy Local” Renewable Energy Program

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/expect-delays-presentation-reviewing-ontarios-buy-local-renewable-energy-program/

Ontario’s landmark “buy local” renewable energy Feed-In Tariff program launched in late 2009.  After four years, the program has created thousands of jobs, helped close coal-fired power plants and made energy producers of many Ontarians.  But roadblocks remain, and changes are needed.  The following presentation outlines the program, its goals and accomplishments, and the barriers… Continue reading