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tenKsolar solar and Minneapolis skyline
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Oct 6, 2014

Agreements with utilities would create first-of-its-kind Clean Energy Partnership

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/agreements-utilities-create-first-of-its-kind-clean-energy-partnership/

From MinneapolisMN.gov: The City of Minneapolis, Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy have reached tentative agreements that would establish a first-of-its-kind City-utility Clean Energy Partnership. If approved by the Minneapolis City Council Oct. 17, the partnership will result in the City and utility companies collaborating in new ways to help Minneapolis achieve its energy goals. These… Continue reading

tenKsolar solar and Minneapolis skyline
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Oct 6, 2014

REPORT: An Alternative Grid Model for Minneapolis

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/report-alternative-grid-model-minneapolis/

This short report shares the results of advanced electricity system modeling for the city of Minneapolis, revealing an opportunity to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a comparable cost of power and to dramatically boost renewable energy production at a modestly higher price. Download the report Executive Summary An advanced technical and economic model of… Continue reading

solar panel and smiling people - USAID flickr
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Jun 16, 2014

Forget Utility 2.0, Let’s Talk Energy Ownership 2.0

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/forget-utility-2-0-talk-energy-ownership-2-0/

The transformation taking place in the electricity system is enormous, but twofold. But most commentators – including the former FERC chair – miss half the opportunity when they fixate on the inevitable technological rather than the more fundamental economic transformation. The 20th century electric grid was characterized by two centralized components. The technology of power… Continue reading

the infamous duck chart electricity demand with solar California
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Mar 25, 2014

Solar Supporters: It’s Open Season on the Utilities’ Duck

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/solar-supporters-open-season-utilities-duck/

The rapid changes to the electricity system being wrought by distributed solar have utilities crying out, and they’ve poured much of their distributed solar angst into a chart being shared throughout the energy nerdocracy – the duck. The Duck Chart, Showing Net Supply/Demand on the California Grid in 2012-13, Forecast through 2020 Until 2012, daily energy… Continue reading

baseload must go video screengrab
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Oct 16, 2013

Why Coal and Nuclear (Baseload) Are Not Compatible with a Renewable Future

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/coal-nuclear-baseload-compatible-renewable-future/

A terrific video explains why utility investments in “baseload” coal and nuclear power plants are acting against increasing renewable energy.  Credit to EnergyShouldBe, a website created by one of the technical analysts helping Boulder, CO, pursue a more local, renewable energy system. My one caveat is that flexibility of a utility system varies by utility. … Continue reading

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Oct 7, 2013

Who’s Your Energy Daddy?

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

This panel asks ‘who’s your energy daddy?’ and for now it remains large, investor-owned utilities, and ostensibly locally-focused rural cooperatives and municipal utilities. But the energy landscape of today gives me uncomfortable reminders of the Athenian tragedy by Sophocles – the Oedipus tale. John Farrell, ILSR’s Director of Democratic Energy, gave this panel presentation at the 23rd… Continue reading

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Sep 27, 2013

Essential Elements in the Value of Solar

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

Comments to the Minnesota Division of Energy Resources Re: Value of Solar Stakeholder Process From: Institute for Local Self-Reliance    John Farrell, Director of Democratic Energy Date: September 20, 2013 Background The value of solar component of the state’s new solar energy standard must be considered in the context of the state’s energy goals, expressed… Continue reading

Cost of Residential p.3
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Wade | 1 Comment | Updated on Apr 4, 2013

Solar Costs and Grid Prices On a Collision Course

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

With the cost of solar continuing to fall rapidly (50% in the past five years) and electricity prices rising steadily, if slowly, the approach of solar grid parity is near. The following chart illustrates the trajectory of solar cost and electricity price, hinting at the coming intersection. 1 The chart compares the cost of a… Continue reading

Cost of Residential Solar v. US Residential Retail
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Wade | 1 Comment | Updated on Mar 27, 2013

The Coming Solar Electricity Transformation

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

Solar cells are unusual in that they were cost-competitive from the get-go. From the Apollo space program to highway signs to lighting for buoys, solar could replace highly expensive power from batteries or other sources and eliminate the need for the construction of electric distribution lines.1 When the Institute for Local Self-Reliance was founded in… Continue reading

Minneapolis Energy Options logo
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 19, 2013

How a City Can Get More Clean, Local Energy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/city-clean-local-energy/

Like many cities attempting to solve climate change at a local level, Minneapolis is finding the prospect more challenging that it may have imagined. The lion’s share of emissions (two-thirds in the case of Minneapolis) come from electricity and gas sold by two monopoly, corporate utilities. Minnesota’s state-level policy is helping: a renewable energy standard… Continue reading