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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

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Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 2, 2014

Democratic Energy’s Top 5 of 2013

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/democratic-energys-top-5-2013/

Rooftop Revolution A combination resource of our two reports on residential and commercial solar grid parity, including a slideshow, infographic, and an amazing interactive map (#5 on this list by itself).       Germany Has More Solar Power Because Everyone Wins It got press because someone at Fox News thought Germany was sunnier than… Continue reading

Cheering over new solar installation
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Jun 20, 2013

The One Thing Obama’s Climate Policy Can’t Leave Out

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

When President Obama unveils his climate policy proposal in the coming days, he should focus on the one key element of successful climate and energy policy.  It’s not about utilities or incentives or numbers, it’s about ownership. Climate-protecting energy policy succeeds when communities can keep their energy dollars local by directly owning and profiting from… Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 3 Comments | Updated on May 15, 2013

Half of Germany’s 63,000 Megawatts of Renewable Energy is Locally Owned

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/germanys-63000-megawatts-renewable-energy-locally-owned/

Courtesy of Craig Morris and the Germany Renewable Energy industry, evidence that Germany’s renewable energy program remains people powered.  Total megawatts represent wind and solar only. Continue reading

Lowering Soft Costs Means Big Solar Savings
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 29, 2013

Soft Costs Make a Bigger Difference as Solar Gets Cheap

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/soft-costs-bigger-difference-solar-cheap/

Last week’s graphic on the impact of local permitting on the cost of solar power was a big hit, so here’s a follow up on “soft costs,” the expenses in a solar installation (including permitting) that are not the solar module.  The chart compares the soft costs in the U.S. to Germany (thanks to LBNL’s… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 7 Comments | Updated on Feb 8, 2013

Germany Has More Solar Power Because Everyone Wins

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

Suddenly everyone knows about Germany’s solar power dominance because Fox Newsheads made an ass of themselves, suggesting that the country is a sunny, tropical paradise.  Most media folks have figured out that there are some monster differences in policy (e.g. a feed-in tariff), but then latch on to the “Germans pay a lot extra” meme. … Continue reading

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 15, 2012

Community-Owned Transmission?

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

The enormous growth in local renewable energy is decentralizing the electricity system, often supplanting energy from centralized power plants.  But not all renewable energy is built locally, even in a country like Germany with massive local ownership of its renewable energy systems.  The Germans are undergoing significant upgrades to their electricity grid as they push… Continue reading

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Nov 14, 2012

Clean Break Inspires Americans to Pursue “Energy Change”

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/clean-break-inspires-americans-pursue-energy-change/

Friend and renewable energy journalist Osha Gray Davidson released a book today called Clean Break, detailing the German Energiewende (translation: energy change).  It’s a story of how the Germans systematically shifted to clean energy, finding as they proceeded that the possibilities were greater, the costs lower, and the benefits for ordinary citizens more prodigious than… Continue reading

German v US residential PV costs
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 5 Comments | Updated on Sep 20, 2012

Why Are Residential PV Prices in Germany So Much Lower Than in the United States?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/residential-pv-prices-germany-united-states/

Earlier this week, Lawrence Berkeley Labs released a marvelous comparison of residential PV costs in Germany and the United States, finally putting some detail to an enormous gulf in costs (nearly $3.00 per Watt).  The following chart (from page 35 of the presentation) shows the cost difference broken down into 9 categories, with ILSR’s addition… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 7 Comments | Updated on Jul 10, 2012

Why We Pay Double for Solar in America (But Won’t Forever)

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

Update 12/21/12: Corrected chart.  Overhead and Sales Tax had been switched in the German data column. I often get flak when I publish research on the cost trajectory for solar (e.g. my Rooftop Revolution report estimates 100 million Americans reaching grid parity by 2021).  About half think I’m too conservative, and half think I’m too… Continue reading