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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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Missing Piece Presentation Cover
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 1, 2012

The Missing Piece in the Clean Local Energy Transformation

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/missing-piece-clean-local-energy-transformation/

A presentation by ILSR Senior Researcher John Farrell explores how decentralized biogas production could provide a key piece of the future, renewable electricity system.  Given Oct. 29, 2012, in St. Louis to the Biocycle Annual Conference. The Missing Piece in Clean Local Energy from John Farrell   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://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

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 22, 2012

The Incredible Incompetence of Comcast

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

My colleague writes a good-as-any explanation of why we’re not getting quite as much energy work done in the past week as we’d like. What happens when economies of scale are taken to ridiculous proportions? The wretched customer service of Comcast, AT&T, Etc. We recently had to move our Institute for Local Self-Reliance office within… Continue reading

Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 18, 2012

More Clean Energy for Minneapolis

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

Click here for a more detailed article. ILSR Senior Researcher John Farrell presents to a big crowd at “Green Ideas and Ham,” a breakfast policy forum in Minneapolis, about the opportunity for the city to dramatically increase its control over its energy future.  In a short time, the city’s monopoly energy contracts with its electric… Continue reading

gchart-solar-lease-price-premium-solarcity-1
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://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://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

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 8, 2012

Moving Time!

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

If you’re wondering why there’ less content on Energy Self-Reliant States lately, it’s because our Minneapolis office is moving for the first time in 20 years. Here’s a few photos from our moving preparations. The Minneapolis office “technology history room” with over a decade of old Apple laptops (since recycled): Piles of boxes waiting to… Continue reading

screengrab susan osborne presentation
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Oct 1, 2012

Boulder Mayor Tells Minneapolis How They Sought Clean Energy Options

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/boulder-mayor-tells-minneapolis-sought-clean-energy-options/

Now’s your chance to hear how Boulder finally came to municipalization of its electric system after many futile years of trying to work with Xcel Energy to get more clean, local power. I traveled to Boulder in April 2011 to talk with their city council and grassroots groups about their struggles (video), and the citizens… Continue reading

happy birthday DM
Article filed under The Public Good, The Public Good News | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Sep 24, 2012

Happy Birthday, David Morris!

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/happy-birthday-david-morris/

The fearless leader of our Minneapolis “New Rules Project” celebrates another great year today!  If you want to get in the spirit, check out his recently released Thoughtful Voters Guide to Same-Sex Marriage (available as a free ebook), his oldest online publication (from 1974) – Kilowatt Counter – A Consumers Guide to Energy Concepts, Quantities,… Continue reading

Minneapolis at an energy crossroads
Featured Article filed under Energy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Sep 20, 2012

John Farrell Presents on Local Energy Options for Minneapolis

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/john-farrell-presents-local-energy-options-minneapolis/

What happens when a city’s franchise contracts with its incumbent electric and gas utilities expires?  A once-in-20-year opportunity to consider how its energy can be cleaner, more affordable, more reliable, and more local.  ILSR Senior Researcher John Farrell presents to Environment Minnesota’s Green Ideas and Ham policy breakfast, discussing the implications of an expiring franchise… Continue reading