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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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commercial solar grid parity report ILSR 2012 cover page
Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Energy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 2, 2013

Is Your Utility Ready? New Report Says Local Solar Could Power 10% of Country in 10 Years

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/utility-ready-report-local-solar-power-10-country-10-years/

Minneapolis, MN —Within a decade, more than 35 million buildings may be generating their own solar electricity (without subsidies) at prices lower than their utility offers, sufficient to power almost 10% of the country.

That’s the powerful headline from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s latest report, Commercial Rooftop Revolution. Despite the opportunity, utilities, regulators, and policy markers are largely unprepared for the surge of local solar power.

Read the report, view the interactive map, and more

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Solar grid parity infographic from ILSR
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Dec 17, 2012

We Need to Get Ready for a Solar Rooftop Revolution [Infographic]

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/get-ready-solar-rooftop-revolution/
Rooftop Revolution report covers
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 14, 2012

Rooftop Revolution Reports

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

By 2022, over 38 million homes and businesses could get solar power from their own rooftop, pay less for electricity, without any subsidies for solar. These two reports, published in 2012, outline the growth potential for local solar power and the coming rooftop revolution. Click to see more of our Rooftop Revolution resources. Continue reading

Solar grid parity opportunity 10%
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Dec 14, 2012

Rooftop Revolution

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

At the start of 2012, the United States had over 4,000 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaics (PV) connected to the grid, with the pace of new installations accelerating as the price continues to fall. There has never been a better opportunity for Americans to generate their own electricity on-site nor such a challenge to the… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Dec 7, 2012

The Catholics and Wind Power in History

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

A funny historical tidbit courtesy of David Morris, showing the exercise of papal power over wind power: “In Northern Europe, one of the earliest records of windmills were the ones in England recorded in 1185…Also, in 1191, records show that a windmill in Bury St. Edmunds was constructed in defiance of the local abbot. The… Continue reading

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://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://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

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 15, 2012

Community-Owned Transmission?

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

The enormous growth in local renewable energy is decentralizing the electricity system, often supplanting energy from centralized power plants.  But not all renewable energy is built locally, even in a country like Germany with massive local ownership of its renewable energy systems.  The Germans are undergoing significant upgrades to their electricity grid as they push… 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://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://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