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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

WordItOut-word-cloud-935200
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 22, 2015

Unanswered Questions about the Public Rooftop Revolution

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

At the beginning of June 2015, ILSR released its Public Rooftop Revolution report, which described how cities across the nation put the shine on municipal rooftops with more than 5,000 MW of solar. That 5,000 MW is as much as one-quarter of all solar installed in the U.S. to date — and many cities could… Continue reading

solar panels and mountains - flickr Bart Speelman
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on May 26, 2015

The Hole in Brian Potts’ WSJ Critique of the “Solar-Panel Craze.”

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/the-hole-in-brian-potts-wsj-critique-of-the-solar-panel-craze/

In his Sunday Wall Street Journal commentary on May 17, Brian Potts suggests that cost is the bottom line in the electric customer shift to solar, and that rooftop solar costs too much. But his defense of the utility’s view of energy costs leaves a big hole in the big picture: the value of solar… Continue reading

solar school check - blackrocksolar flickr
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on May 22, 2015

Why Democratic Energy Offers Faster Approach to Clean Energy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/why-democratic-energy-offers-faster-approach-to-clean-energy/

There are many organizations in the energy space, and ILSR’s climate and energy advocacy overlaps substantially with the many other players who care about a cleaner energy system. But our approach isn’t the same. Rather, our vision is that communities enrich their local economies by being masters of the transition to 100% renewable energy. This… Continue reading

Cost of Residential Solar v. US Residential Retail
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Apr 29, 2015

Beyond Utility 2.0: Part 2 “The Present”

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/beyond-utility-2-0-part-2-the-present/

Aggressive state policy and cost reductions for clean energy have created two business model crises for electric utilities: stagnant sales and exponentially rising production from distributed renewable sources. This is the second of four parts of our Beyond Utility 2.0 to Energy Democracy report being published in serial.  To see the first post, click here. Download the entire… Continue reading

sunset in georgetown tx - flickr Jim Nix
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 14, 2015

Can Other Cities Match Georgetown’s Low-Cost Switch to 100% Wind and Sun?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/can-other-cities-match-georgetowns-low-cost-switch-to-100-wind-and-sun/

This is probably not the first place you’ve read about Georgetown, TX, the town of 55,000 that will be getting the equivalent of 100% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2017. But few articles hit upon the two key reasons Georgetown was able to make this move when so many other cities with abundant… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Mar 4, 2015

Democratic Energy Media Roundup – March 4, 2015

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/democratic-energy-media-roundup-march-4-2015/

A clean energy report looks at the tension between utilities and consumers, and we take a look at political crossover: how distributed energy and local control is becoming more of a bipartisan issue. Chris Mooney with the Washington Post leads the roundup with two articles on how solar energy plays in conservative parts of the nation. It doesn’t hurt… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy | Written by Lizzi Whittlesey | No Comments | Updated on Dec 8, 2014

Democratic Energy Media Roundup – December 8, 2014

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/democratic-energy-media-roundup-december-8-2014/

Over the last two weeks in democratic energy, media reports discussed a serious threat to Minneapolis’ recent city-utility partnership, why conservatives are embracing solar, and more. ILSR’s own John Farrell was cited in Utility Dive, in Robert Walton’s article, “Will Santa Fe be the next city to municipalize its electric utility?” Walton reports: “John Farrell,… Continue reading

Minneapolis electric lines sq
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 3, 2014

Will Clean Local Energy Grow? A Novel City-Utility Partnership Sprouts in Minneapolis

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/grow-city-utility-partnership-sprouts-minneapolis/

Ever wonder what happened to the notion last August that the city of Minneapolis would take over its energy utilities? While it may seem like the issue vanished, next Monday the Minneapolis City Council makes a monumental decision on another way forward to a better energy future. On the table is a novel partnership between… Continue reading

will value of solar work for solar producers slide
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 13, 2014

Webinar: Minnesota’s Value of Solar

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

What is “the value of solar” electricity? How can it be used in energy policy? And how does it differ from other policies that govern the deployment of distributed solar power? Listen in to this 30-minute webinar presentation (and 30-minute Q&A) to learn about Minnesota’s recently enacted value of solar policy, how it may work for… Continue reading