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trojan nuclear power plant - flickr tobin
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 6 Comments | Updated on Sep 11, 2014

Minnesota Nuclear Plant Cost Overruns Show Shortcomings of Large Scale Power Generation

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/minnesota-nuclear-plant-cost-overruns-highlight-risk-centralized-climate-solutions/

With the rich history of cost overruns in the nuclear industry, Xcel Energy and Minnesota regulators probably shouldn’t have been surprised when the retrofit cost to the Monticello nuclear power plant ballooned to more than twice the original estimate late last year. Regulators are asking tough questions about whether the cost overruns are the responsibility… Continue reading

foolhardy2-300px
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 9 Comments | Updated on Aug 18, 2014

Why Aren’t Rural Electric Cooperatives Champions of Local Clean Power?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/rural-electric-cooperatives-champions-local-clean-power/

When it comes to ownership, there are few better structures for keeping a community’s wealth local than a cooperative. So why is it that America’s rural electric cooperatives are tethered to dirty, old coal-fired power plants instead of local-wealth generating renewable power? There are a lot of answers to this question, but it might start… Continue reading

third party ownership solar california.001
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Jul 10, 2014

Is Solar Ownership Poised for a Comeback?

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

With “no money down” and “zero maintenance” to attract homeowners, solar leasing has become the overwhelming favorite for residential solar installations. And with the complexity of tax incentives, rebates, and financing, it’s hard to find fault with homeowners that choose this low-effort option. But giving up ownership means giving up a big share of the… Continue reading

sunset over river - satpal singh flickr
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 4 Comments | Updated on May 30, 2014

The Future of Solar Economics and Policy

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

Solar power is at a unique place in history. It’s growing rapidly, its price is falling precipitously. Within the next 10 years, it will compete favorably with utilities for electricity sales, on price, and without subsidies. Given its rapid ascent, it might seem silly to talk about change.  But the continued expansion of distributed solar… Continue reading

KIUC lineman and truck
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 21, 2014

A Perfect Storm for Renewables – Episode 18 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/perfect-storm-renewables-episode-18-local-energy-rules/

“We have a perfect storm for renewables,” says Jan TenBruggencate, second-term board member of the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative. The Hawaiian utility, made local when the investor-owned utility left the business a decade ago, is surging toward 40% renewable energy in the next year, with a third of that total from customer-generated solar. Half its… Continue reading

solar pv close up
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 28, 2014

Five Reasons Solar’s Win Over Gas in Minnesota is Just the Beginning

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/solars-win-gas-minnesota-beginning/

Solar advocates were popping corks when a New Year’s Eve ruling by an administrative law judge in Minnesota said that distributed solar arrays were a more cost-effective resource than natural gas to meet Xcel Energy’s peak power needs. The energy media were aflutter for weeks, but many missed the bigger significance. If solar trumps gas… Continue reading

MOSEIA presentation kansas city JFF ILSR
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Feb 4, 2014

Show Me Solar: Parity, Value, and Opportunity for Solar Power

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/show-solar-parity-value-opportunity-solar-power/

What can solar power do for a single state? How about 21% of its energy, $14 billion in economic activity, and over 150,000 jobs. At a discount to existing electricity costs. Without subsidies. ILSR’s Director of Democratic Energy, John Farrell, shared this message with the Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association on Feb. 1, 2014 in… Continue reading

Credit: Roadsidepictures
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Jan 30, 2014

Natural Gas isn’t a Bridge Fuel, it’s a Gateway Drug

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/natural-gas-bridge-fuel-gateway-drug/

In his State of the Union, President Obama added to the conventional wisdom that supplanting coal with natural gas will act as a bridge toward a climate solution. Unfortunately, gas is more of a gateway drug than a bridge to a clean energy future. 1) It’s still a major greenhouse gas.  Sure, natural gas is… Continue reading

population at grid parity 10 years
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 21, 2014

Rooftop Revolution – Appendix

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

This wraps up the serialized edition of our residential Rooftop Revolution report.  Read the whole report in short segments below, or download the report and other resources. Part 1 – The Coming Solar Electricity Transformation Part 2 – Solar Costs and Grid Prices On a Collision Course Part 3 – The Solar Opportunity Part 4… Continue reading

jf wcco 2013-1212 b
Article, ILSR Press Room, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 16, 2013

On WCCO, ILSR Director of Democratic Energy Discusses Xcel Energy Rate Hike

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/wcco-ilsr-director-democratic-energy-discusses-xcel-energy-rate-hike/

“They need some more support from the Legislature in having a critical eye,” said John Farrell, of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. “I think the laws that they operate under don’t give them a lot of flexibility to question…the base assumptions that Xcel is bringing to the table.” Check out the 2-minute video clip   Continue reading