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About John Farrell

John Farrell directs the Energy Self-Reliant States and Communities program at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and he focuses on energy policy developments that best expand the benefits of local ownership and dispersed generation of renewable energy. More

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flatline - flickr ashley rose
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 25, 2014

Is Per Capita Electricity Use Permanently Flat in the U.S.?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/capita-electricity-permanently-flat-u-s/

Here’s something to be thankful for: a more energy efficiency economy! While local renewable energy and energy efficiency are proving to be near-existential threats to electric utilities in the early 21st century, the trends aren’t the same. The rapid rise of renewable energy is but a decade old, but the trend toward falling electricity consumption… Continue reading

Minneapolis clean energy partnership signed
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 21, 2014

A 2-Year City Workplan for Energy Democracy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/proposed-2-year-strategy-energy-democracy-minneapolis/

The first-in-the-nation city-utility partnership has been framed in Minneapolis, but can the city and its utilities really deliver substantive movement toward an equitable energy economy in the next two years? It all depends on the workplan, and the grassroots team at Minneapolis Energy Options has delivered. (Disclosure: I serve on the board of Community Power… Continue reading

Credit: Matthew Paulson
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 17, 2014

The History and Hope for a First-in-the-Nation City-Utility Clean Energy Partnership

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/history-hope-first-in-the-nation-city-utility-clean-energy-partnership/

In the past month, the city of Minneapolis and its two investor-owned utilities adopted the nation’s first clean energy partnership, with a wide range of goals including meeting the city’s ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. How did it happen and what can it accomplish? The following 8-minute video from one of the “lead rabble… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 12, 2014

Support Democratic Energy – Give to the Max!

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/give-to-the-max-2014/

Contributions Are Matched Up To $25,000! If you’re reading this, you are probably a big supporter of a democratic energy future.  We appreciate it! Click and Contribute Today! We’ve been grateful to be at the center of the struggle for a new community-centered energy economy, illuminating a path forward by widely sharing this vision, performing… Continue reading

applause sign - flickr Princess Theater
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | 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://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

Credit: Wikipedia user Z22
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Oct 31, 2014

Why Haven’t Cities Covered Their Buildings in Solar?

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

The city of Beaverton, OR, is getting a new solar array that will offset energy use at an underground reservoir, saving taxpayers $95,000 per year, with no upfront cost. Ventura County, CA, has a 1-megawatt solar array on its jail facility, that’s cash flow positive. Denver, CO, has nearly 4 megawatts of solar, with power… Continue reading

rooftop solar LA - Mike Spasoff flickr
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 5 Comments | Updated on Oct 21, 2014

We Have “Value for Solar,” but Should We Use It?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/value-of-solar-use-it/

Earlier this year, Minnesota became the first state to formalize dozens of studies by adopting a “value of solar” formula that would fundamentally change the relationship between solar energy producers and their utility. It’s designed to have the utility accurately compensate solar energy producers for the value of solar electricity to the utility, its customers,… Continue reading

residential solar and power plant capacity 2013.003
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 16, 2014

2 Charts Show Solar’s Jump to Top Spot for New U.S. Power Generation

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/2-charts-show-solars-jump-top-spot-u-s-power-generation/

Want proof that distributed solar is rapidly growing?  Look no further than these two charts, showing how solar provided over a quarter of new power plant capacity in 2013 (6% from residential solar alone!) and 43% in the first half of this year! This article originally posted at ilsr.org. For timely updates, follow John Farrell on… Continue reading

timeline of state energy efficiency standards - ilsr 2014
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 13, 2014

A Timeline of State Energy Efficiency Standards

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/timeline-state-energy-efficiency-standards/

I couldn’t believe there wasn’t a nice graphic of the timeline of state energy efficiency standard adoption on the web anywhere (that I could find).  So I made one. Hat tip to Center for Climate and Energy Solutions for the template and to ACEEE for the data.   This article originally posted at ilsr.org. For… Continue reading

tenKsolar solar and Minneapolis skyline
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Oct 6, 2014

REPORT: An Alternative Grid Model for Minneapolis

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/report-alternative-grid-model-minneapolis/

This short report shares the results of advanced electricity system modeling for the city of Minneapolis, revealing an opportunity to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a comparable cost of power and to dramatically boost renewable energy production at a modestly higher price. Download the report Executive Summary An advanced technical and economic model of… Continue reading