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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

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Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Dec 12, 2014

“$364 billion up for grabs” – A Video preview of Energy Democracy

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

2014 marked the year that solar energy, energy storage and electric vehicles – hallmarks of a decentralized electricity grid – got big enough to threaten the electric utilities, exposing their 100-year-old business model as out-of-date. In nearly 20 states, utilities are fighting back, proposing new fees and rules to minimize the competition from customer generated… Continue reading

beyond utility 2 cover image
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Dec 9, 2014

New Report: Beyond Utility 2.0 to Energy Democracy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/report-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 –… Continue reading

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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/

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

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

Photo: Walmart Store
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 9, 2014

Walton Family Undermining Rooftop Solar, ILSR Report Finds

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

The Walton family — majority owners of Walmart — are impeding America’s transition to a clean energy future, a new study by ILSR finds. At a time when more than 500,000 households and businesses are generating their own solar electricity, and the U.S. solar industry is employing 143,000 people, the Waltons are funding nearly two dozen organizations working to roll back renewable energy policies, while a Walton-owned company is pushing for regulations aimed at hindering the growth of rooftop solar power. 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

ADVLOCAL LOCAL SG
Article, ILSR Press Room, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Sep 24, 2014

REPORT: Advantage Local – Why Local Energy Ownership Matters

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

Solar and wind projects can mean big bucks for communities – but only if they keep them local! Why does ownership of renewable energy matter? Because the number of jobs and economic returns for communities are substantially higher when electricity generation from wind and sun can be captured by local hands. Read Full Advantage Local… Continue reading

solar calculator - flickr Derek Gavey
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 4 Comments | Updated on Sep 4, 2014

Ultimate Solar Calculator “App” Helps You Choose: To Own or Lease?

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

A few weeks ago I wrote about the comeback of solar ownership relative to leasing, as the cost of rooftop solar PV continues to fall and new financing options make ownership easier than ever. Is owning a solar panel right for you? Find out now! The calculator below lets you compare (leasing) apples to (ownership)… Continue reading

Illinois Renewable Energy Fair
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 27, 2014

The Power of Local Renewable Energy (Presentation)

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

Tailored to Illinois, but explaining the universal benefits of local renewable energy, this presentation was delivered by Director of Democratic Energy John Farrell at the Illinois Renewable Energy Fair on August 24, 2014. The presentation explores the enormous potential of clean, local energy to meet U.S. electricity needs and juice local economies. But what happens… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 13, 2014

A Solar Ownership Comeback? John Farrell Talks with Arnie Arnesen on WNHN

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/solar-ownership-comeback-john-farrell-talks-arnie-arnesen-wnhn/

A month ago I wrote about the potential for a comeback for solar ownership (instead of leasing) as the economics and options for ownership continue to improve. Yesterday I discussed this trend in depth on “The Attitude” with Arnie Arnesen on WNHN. Subscribe to the podcast here, or listen by clicking the player below:   Continue reading

will value of solar work for solar producers slide
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 13, 2014

Webinar: Minnesota’s Value of Solar

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

What is “the value of solar” electricity? How can it be used in energy policy? And how does it differ from other policies that govern the deployment of distributed solar power? Listen in to this 30-minute webinar presentation (and 30-minute Q&A) to learn about Minnesota’s recently enacted value of solar policy, how it may work for… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 5, 2014

Same Price, More Renewables. San Diego’s Fight for Community Choice – Episode 23 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/price-renewables-san-diegos-fight-community-choice-episode-23-local-energy-rules/

“San Diego and its community choice energy district would be able to offer a diverse energy mix with all of the solar, biodiesel, biogas, and energy storage resources that we have in San Diego.  A product that is price competitive and yet at the same time would strive for and achieve a higher level of… Continue reading

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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