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Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Jan 23, 2012

Rural Community Broadband Network in Minnesota Garners More Coverage

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/rural-community-broadband-network-minnesota-garners-more-coverage

Minnesota Public Radio has once again covered some of the many benefits coming from the stimulus-funded Southwest Minnesota Broadband Services that grew out of WindomNet, a small muni network. … Continue reading

Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Jan 20, 2012

Freedom to Connect is Back!

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/freedom-connect-back

One of the great conferences, Freedom to Connect, is back for 2011! I’ll be in Washington, DC, (well, Silver Spring to be accurate) on May 21-22 to mingle with and learn from a lot of great pe… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 20, 2012

Do You ‘Like’ Energy Self-Reliant States?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/do-you-energy-self-reliant-states/

We’ve joined Facebook, so if that’s a place where you want to hear about democratizing the energy system and energy self-reliance, come on over and ‘like’ us there.

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 20, 2012

Distributed Renewable Energy as the 3rd Industrial Revolution

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/distributed-renewable-energy-3rd-industrial-revolution/

I just came across an interesting interview that radio host Diane Rehm did with Jeremy Rifkin, author of The Third Industrial Revolution.  The excerpts below lay out his vision for an energy future that is decentralized and democratized. (He also notes that this vision has just emerged in the past two to four years, but we’ve been around since 1974…).

The book is organized around five pillars of the third industrial revolution:

Pillar one, renewable energy. Pillar two, your buildings become your own power plants. Pillar three, you have to store it with hydrogen. And then Pillar four…the internet communication revolution completely merges with new distributing energies to create a nervous system…Pillar five is electric plug-in transport…

when distributed Internet communication starts to organize distributed energies, we have a very powerful third industrial revolution that could change everything…

You can find some renewable energy in every square inch of the world. So how do we collect them? … If renewable energies are found in every square inch of the world in some frequency or proportion, why would we only collect them in a few central points? …

[it] jump starts the European economy, that’s the idea. Millions and millions and millions of jobs. Thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises have to convert 190 million buildings to power plants over the next 40 years…

That’s the vision: a decentralized energy system can be democratized with local ownership, spreading the production of energy and the economic benefits as widely as the renewable energy resource itself.

 

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Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Jan 19, 2012

Digital Dialogue on Jan 25 – Community Broadband

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/digital-dialogue-jan-25-community-broadband

The Media Action Grassroots network is holding a digital dialogue phonecast from 1-2pm EST on January 25. The discussion features Traci Morris of Native Public Media, Danielle Chynoweth of Urb… Continue reading

Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Jan 18, 2012

AT&T Bid for Broadband Monopoly in South Carolina Resurfaces

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/att-bid-broadband-monopoly-south-carolina-resurfaces

AT&T, one of the few dominant Internet access providers in South Carolina, is again pushing a bill in the state legislature that will gut the self-determiniation of local communities in the… Continue reading

Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Jan 17, 2012

Some Good News in UTOPIA

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/some-good-news-utopia

As should happen with entities that are accountable to the public, the 2011 audit of the UTOPIA network in Utah is available for the public to read. In short, it appears that UTOPIA has contin… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 17, 2012

Should Solar Grid Parity Include Tax Credits?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/should-solar-grid-parity-include-tax-credits/

In recent weeks, I wrote a Solar Grid Parity 101 and published an animated map of the year when major U.S. metro areas will reach solar grid parity.  The most frequent criticism was “you didn’t include tax incentives!” 

Yes, there is a 30% federal tax credit on the table until 2016 (barring Republican control of Congress and the White House) and it makes a substantial difference. Mouse over the following map to see the impact of the federal Investment Tax Credit on solar grid parity in 2016.

 

Solar Grid Parity

 

My one thought: if the ITC expires as scheduled, the 2017 map will have a lot more red than the 2016 one if we measure grid parity with incentives.

But you’ve seen the difference (from 3 states to 21 states with grid parity!), now vote in the comments:

Should the tax credit be included in a calculation of grid parity? Why or why not?

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Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Jan 16, 2012

Santa Clara Prepares to Re-Launch Free Wi-Fi Network

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/santa-clara-prepares-re-launch-free-wi-fi-network

Silicon Valley Power, the muni electric utilty owned by Santa Clara is preparing to launch a citywide Wi-Fi network later this year according to the Santa Clara Weekly. The city took over the … Continue reading