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Term for Energy

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 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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Advanced Electric Meter
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Jan 12, 2012

How Electricity Pricing Can Boost Distributed Solar – Part 1

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/how-electricity-pricing-can-boost-distributed-solar-part-1-0/

Note: This is a revision of the same post from last week, with an updated time-of-use pricing plan from Los Angeles. What if electricity cost more when the sun was shining? Many utilities are using new electronic “smart meters” to adjust the price of electricity as often as every 15 minutes, to reflect supply and… Continue reading

chart-2
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Jan 11, 2012

Democratic energy policy means strong public support for renewables

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/democratic-energy-policy-means-strong-public-support-renewables/

Conducted by market research institute Forsa on behalf of municipal utilities in Germany, the survey found that 61 percent of Germans are willing to pay more for their power if the extra cost helps ramp up the share of renewables. Public acceptance even extends to acceptance of wind turbines “in my backyard”; 54 percent of those surveyed said they would find it “good” or “very good” if a wind turbine were set up nearby.

That’s the German feed-in tariff at work…

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On air with microphone
Article, ILSR Press Room, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Dec 19, 2011

John Farrell Talks Democratizing the Electricity System Through Decentralizing Power on WKBM

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/john-farrell-talks-democratizing-electricity-system-through-decentralizing-power-wkbm/

In this Nov. 20 interview with Baruch on his WKBM Paradigms program, we talked about: The coming decentralization of the electricity system The folly of a building inherently decentralized technology (wind and solar) in a centralized fashion The benefits for local ownership of a decentralized system How limited economies of scale for solar and wind… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 12, 2011

Distributed generation needs less backup than centralized power generation

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/distributed-generation-needs-less-backup-centralized-power-generation/

 

One doesn’t need 540 MW of reserve to back up 540 MW of small-scale distributed generation, but one does need it to back up a single critical 540 MW unit.

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 3 Comments | Updated on Dec 2, 2011

American and Germany Getting Their Renewable Energy Just Desserts

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/american-and-germany-getting-their-renewable-energy-just-desserts/

Germany is the unquestioned world leader in renewable energy.  By mid-2011, the European nation generated over 20 percent of its electricity from wind and solar power alone, and had created over 400,000 jobs in the industry. The sweet German success is no accident, however, and the following pie chart illustrates the results of a carefully… Continue reading

farrell mdv seia presentation sample slide
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Nov 22, 2011

Democratizing the Electricity System: A Vote for Local Solar

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/democratizing-electricity-system-vote-local-solar/

This is a presentation by John Farrell to the MDV-SEIA Solar Energy Focus conference in Washington, DC.  In it, I discuss the transformation in the electricity system being wrought by clean energy sources, the winning economies of local solar power, how the drawbacks of solar are technically surmountable, and how public policy must change to… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 18, 2011

Bigger Subsidies Make Bigger Solar a Bad Bet

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/bigger-subsidies-make-bigger-solar-bad-bet/

Americans seem unable to resist big things, and solar power plants are no exception. There may be no reasoning with an affinity for all things “super sized,” but the economics of large scale solar projects (and the unwelcome public scrutiny) should bury the notion that bigger is better for solar. In fact, smaller scale solar… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Nov 17, 2011

Solar Power is Not a Land Use Problem

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/solar-power-not-land-use-problem/

While large-scale solar creates contention between environmental advocates and renewable energy proponents, the truth is that there are thousands of acres in already developed land where solar can easily fit.  This infographic explains.

infographic-solar-land-use

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