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Map: Walmart Square Footage per person in 2014.
Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 23, 2015

New Maps Show Alarming Pace of Walmart’s Continued Growth

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/alarming-pace-walmarts-continued-growth/

Walmart continues to expand, and rapidly. The company is now embarking on its third historic wave of store construction, with plans to build 440 to 460 “Neighborhood Market” stores over a two year period, presumably with many hundreds more to follow. There is a critical debate to be had right now about whether a company that already captures one-quarter of U.S. grocery sales should be allowed to grow to control one-third, or even half, of our food supply. Continue reading

us power plant capacity additions 2003-2014 ILSR
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 10, 2015

Small-Scale Solar Contributes 13% of New Power Plant Capacity in 2014

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/small-scale-solar-contributes-13-power-plants-2014/

The growth of solar has continued at a furious pace, with a new record of 6.2 gigawatts installed in the United States in 2014. But the bigger tale may be the persistent growth of small-scale solar, on residential and non-residential rooftops (and property).  These projects, a megawatt or smaller, contributed 13% of new power plant… Continue reading

computer-screen 5 pillars
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 6, 2015

Unveiling the Five Pillars of Energy Democracy

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

Exciting changes are on the horizon for our century-old utility structure as solar power, energy storage, and electric vehicles open new avenues for utility customers to produce their own power and control their energy use. Utilities are scrambling to remain relevant in this technological firestorm, and energy wonks are envisioning a new business model––Utility 2.0––that… Continue reading

us installed cost of solar power ilsr
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Jan 6, 2015

The Three Biggest Solar Charts of 2014

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

The rise of solar power allows a further democratizing of the electricity system, and these charts illustrate how 2014 was a banner year for solar, but particularly distributed solar power. Apologies for the re-post of these charts, but I wanted to do a year-in-review approach to these solar charts. First, the following chart shows that 2014… Continue reading

us power plant capacity additions 2014 thru Q3 ILSR
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 18, 2014

Distributed Solar a Substantial Portion of 2014 Power Plant Capacity

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/distributed-solar-substantial-portion-2014-power-plant-capacity/

Renewable energy continues to grow substantially in the U.S. and in 2014 it remains a large portion of new power plant capacity – 30% or more through the first three quarters. Often overlooked, distributed solar on residential and commercial property is making up a substantial share of new electrical generating capacity.  The following chart illustrates… Continue reading

Map: States Where Amazon Collects Sales Tax
Featured Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 6, 2014

States Where Amazon Collects Sales Tax (Map)

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/rule/states-amazon-sales-tax-map/

Amazon currently collects sales tax in 24 states.  For more background and information on internet sales tax, including the legislative approaches taken by the states, as well as proposed Congressional legislation, see our Internet Sales Tax Fairness page. Continue reading

state limits on local power.002
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 2, 2014

Lifting State Limits on Local Power

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

In the first half of 2014, distributed local solar power constituted over 25% of new power plant capacity. This impressive growth continues several years where solar power has grown by leaps and bounds, producing power right where it’s needed and juicing up local economies. But many states have limited how much of their electricity can… Continue reading

flatline - flickr ashley rose
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | 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/

While local renewable energy and energy efficiency are both 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 gets the headlines, and it’s big news. Total renewable energy capacity has grown 10-fold since 2003 and in certain parts of the… Continue reading

Image: Detail from infographic
Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Nov 14, 2014

Get the Facts on Shopping Local for the Holidays with this Infographic

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

Independent businesses are poised to draw more people this holiday season.  To illustrate the ways that local businesses are growing in popularity, delivering stronger economic returns, and expanding in numbers, the Advocates for Independent Business, a coalition of 14 groups coordinated by ILSR, put together this infographic. Continue reading

Chart: Share of Census Tracks Served By Pharmacies
Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 20, 2014

Charts: How North Dakota’s Pharmacy Ownership Law Benefits the State

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/charts-north-dakotas-pharmacy-ownership-law-benefits-state/

  Thanks in large part to its Pharmacy Ownership Law, North Dakota outperforms neighboring states and the U.S. as whole on every key measure of pharmacy care.  For more details on the law and its impact, see our 2014 report, North Dakota’s Pharmacy Ownership Law: Ensuring Access, Competitive Prices, and Quality Care. 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

GET_en_2A15_renewables_in_the_hand_of_the_people
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 2, 2014

Citizen Ownership Remains Foundation of German Renewable Energy Explosion

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/citizen-ownership-remains-foundation-german-renewable-energy-explosion/

I’ve been posting updates on local ownership of renewable energy in Germany since early 2011, and it’s abundantly clear that the Germans have yet to back down from their commitment to democratic, locally owned power. The following chart continues the series.  For explanation, click the previous link, but know that traditional electric utilities are contained… Continue reading

community solar people cheering - BlackRockSolar flickr
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Apr 22, 2014

Community Solar Gardens Sprouting in Minnesota

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

On April 7, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission resoundingly rejected (click the link for an annotated ruling) a severely lacking community solar gardens proposal from Xcel Energy and required substantial improvements for the utility’s revised filing. The regulatory smack-down means a promising community solar market for Minnesota (scroll down for the infographic version).    … Continue reading

Graph: Change in Volume of Bank Loans to Businesses, by Loan Size, 2000-2012
Resource filed under Banking, Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 15, 2014

Change in Volume of Bank Loans to Businesses, by Loan Size, 2000-2012

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/change-volume-bank-loans-businesses-loan-size-2000-2012/

Since 2000, the overall volume of business lending per capita at banks has grown by 26 percent, but this expansion has entirely benefited large businesses. Small business loan volume at banks is down 14 percent and micro business loan volume is down 33 percent. Continue reading