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rainbow pooping unicorn 100pct renewable
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

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

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

rooftop solar house germany - Tim Fuller flickr
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 25, 2015

Solar Net Metering a Subsidy to Utilities?

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

When Robert Nohavec of Park City, Utah; Jabbar Graham from Cherry Hill, New Jersey; and Don Born, of Waldoboro, Maine installed solar on their homes, they had something unexpected in common. They were all giving back to their electric company and their community. That’s because solar energy systems tend to provide more value to the… Continue reading

postcards from florida screengrab
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 12, 2015

VIDEO: Dear Hawaii: Read Your Mail Before Your Utility Sells Out

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/dear-hawaii-read-your-mail-before-your-utility-sells-out/

If your electricity—generated from imported oil—is the most expensive in the country and your solar resource is terrific, you’d expect your electric company to be making great strides toward renewable energy. On Hawai’i, the progress toward clean energy is in limbo, because island’s largest electric utility—largely owned by islanders—is likely to be acquired by mainland… Continue reading

us power plant capacity additions quarterly ILSR 2015-0610
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 10, 2015

Distributed Solar Surges in Early 2015

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/distributed-solar-surges-in-early-2015/

Distributed solar was 13% of all new power plant capacity in 2014, and 2015 is starting off even bigger. Distributed residential and commercial solar installations surged 45% over the same period last year and accounted for 35% of all new power plant capacity in the first quarter of 2015. The following chart shows the quarterly… Continue reading

public domain computer-screen w PUBLIC ROOFTOP REVOLUTION
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 10, 2015

Public Rooftop Revolution in Pictures

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

There are a lot of stories on residential rooftop solar but few if any on what cities are doing to make themselves energy self-reliant by using their own buildings and lands to generate power. In Public Rooftop Revolution, ILSR estimates that mid-sized cities could install as much as 5,000 megawatts of solar—as much as one-quarter… Continue reading

5 gigs municipal solar
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 5 Comments | Updated on Jun 4, 2015

Public Rooftop Revolution Report: Part 4, “Conclusions”

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/public-rooftop-revolution-report-part-4-conclusions/

There are a lot of stories on residential rooftop solar but few if any on what cities are doing to make themselves energy self-reliant by using their own buildings and lands to generate power. In Public Rooftop Revolution, ILSR estimates that mid-sized cities could install as much as 5,000 megawatts of solar—as much as one-quarter… Continue reading