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second prize ribbons - flickr Scott
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Sep 2, 2015

The Federal Solar Tax Credit Extension: Can We Win if We Lose?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/the-federal-solar-tax-credit-extension-can-we-win-if-we-lose/

In 16 months, the solar industry faces the end of the line for the 30% federal tax credit. The Investment Tax Credit will fall to 10% for businesses and to zero for residential solar customers. Some have called this the “solar cliff.” There may be a silver lining in this tax credit expiration cloud, but… Continue reading

rainbow pooping unicorn 100pct renewable
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 28, 2015

100% Renewable Energy: Fact or Fantasy?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/100-renewable-energy-fact-or-fantasy/

What would it take to power the entire U.S. economy on renewable resources alone? Three big things: Only build wind, solar, or hydro power plants after 2020 Reduce energy use compared to business as usual by 40% Electrify everything It’s the last that may be the most complicated, since it means a complete overhaul of… Continue reading

Democratic Energy Media Roundup
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Aug 25, 2015

Democratic Energy Media Roundup – week of August 24, 2015

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/democratic-energy-media-roundup-week-of-august-24-2015/

This week in Democratic Energy: Utilities fight back against Net Metering in Nevada, California & Arizona. Massachusetts communities react to continuation of Net Metering by enacting solar construction. Google launches new webpage to evaluate value of installation of solar tech on your rooftop. Featured Stories: Featured Blog Post: 5 Reasons Utilities are Hating on Their… Continue reading

solar pv cost of energy 2014 ilsr
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 20, 2015

Questioning Solar Energy Economies of Scale, 2014 Edition

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/questioning-solar-energy-economies-of-scale-2014-edition/

While utilities continue to imply that large-scale solar projects are more economical than small ones, the data is telling another story. In fact, costs for transmission and distribution of utility-scale solar energy may largely undermine the modestly better economics at the point of generation. In other words (as I wrote a month ago), Utility Solar… Continue reading

Democratic Energy Media Roundup (1)
Article filed under Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Aug 18, 2015

Democratic Energy Media Roundup – week of August 17, 2015

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/democratic-energy-media-roundup-august-17-2015/

This week in Democratic Energy: Net Metering caps stay in the national conversation on renewable energy. Renewable leaders and utilities react to the Clean Power Plan. New Texas law allows and encourages rooftop solar. Featured Stories: Can An Old Utility Learn New Tricks? by John Farrell, Clean Technica Why rooftop solar may be worth three times… Continue reading

big and small guys at bathroom urinal - flickr Glenn Bruynooghe
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 11, 2015

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Own ‘Em—Utilities Muscle in to Rooftop Solar Market

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/if-you-cant-beat-em-own-em-utilities-muscle-in-to-rooftop-solar-market/

In the past five years, rooftop solar has revealed the limitations of the archaic electric utility business model, as customers have found generating their own power more cost effective than taking 100% of their energy from the incumbent monopoly. For years, utilities have fought back by trying to make competition less cost effective, at a… Continue reading

solar home rooftop - flickr Tim Fuller
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 7, 2015

Two Decades of Solar Pioneers in Sacramento – Episode 27 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/two-decades-of-solar-pioneers-in-sacramento-episode-27-of-local-energy-rules/

The publicly-owned Sacramento Municipal Utility District, or SMUD, had already installed the first utility-scale PV array in the nation back in 1984. By the early 1990s, the utility saw a potential for rooftop solar and launched its PV Pioneer program, placing dozens of solar arrays on their customer’s rooftops, for a fee. The standardized rollout… Continue reading

solar calculator - flickr Derek Gavey
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on Aug 4, 2015

To Lease or To Own: Simplified Solar Calculator

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

Now simplified, the new solar lease calculator is here. Just enter in your zip code, electric utility, and solar array size. Then set the terms of your loan or lease to see how solar ownership stacks up against third-party options. Purchase (cash): Customer owns the PV system from day one, pays upfront with cash Purchase (loan): Customer… Continue reading

50 ways to leave utility - solar
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 3, 2015

Clean Power Plan: 50 Ways to Get More Clean, Local Energy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/clean-power-plan-50-ways-to-get-more-clean-local-energy/

The Obama administration released the Clean Power Plan today requiring substantial greenhouse gas emissions reductions from the electricity sector. The plan sets targets from the top down, but largely leaves the details to states, providing a significant opportunity to craft rules that encourage energy development and ownership from the bottom up. These 50 state plans… Continue reading

wind turbines sunrise - flickr David Clarke
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jul 27, 2015

A Rising Wind: Better Tech Means Greater State Wind Potential

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/a-rising-wind-better-tech-means-greater-state-wind-potential/

For states looking to reduce their reliance on dirty, imported energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory brings good news on the wind. In a May 2015 report, significantly more wind power potential was found in nearly every state thanks to advancing turbine technology. In 2015, 40 states could produce 50% or more of their annual electricity… Continue reading