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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

50 ways to leave utility - solar
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 3, 2015

Clean Power Plan: 50 Ways to Get More Clean, Local Energy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/clean-power-plan-50-ways-to-get-more-clean-local-energy/

The Obama administration released the Clean Power Plan today requiring substantial greenhouse gas emissions reductions from the electricity sector. The plan sets targets from the top down, but largely leaves the details to states, providing a significant opportunity to craft rules that encourage energy development and ownership from the bottom up. These 50 state plans… Continue reading

farrell and rabago
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jul 21, 2015

Is Socialism What’s Stopping a Fair Value for Solar?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/is-socialism-whats-stopping-a-fair-value-for-solar/

Complete nonsense. The most socialistic thing I’ve ever heard. That’s just two quotes from a value of solar conversation between ILSR’s John Farrell and Karl Rábago of the Pace Energy and Climate Center that took place online on July 8, 2015. More and more people are installing solar, significantly reducing their purchase of electricity from… Continue reading

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 27, 2015

Can a State’s Solar Party Start Without It?

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

In about half of U.S. states, an individual or business can have solar installed on their roof owned by someone else, and either buy the power or lease the array from that third party. These power purchase or lease models drastically simplify the process of going solar (at a price), avoiding the work of managing… Continue reading

ADVLOCAL LOCAL SG
Article, ILSR Press Room, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Sep 24, 2014

REPORT: Advantage Local – Why Local Energy Ownership Matters

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

Solar and wind projects can mean big bucks for communities – but only if they keep them local! Why does ownership of renewable energy matter? Because the number of jobs and economic returns for communities are substantially higher when electricity generation from wind and sun can be captured by local hands. Read Full Advantage Local… Continue reading

community-solar-people-cheering-BlackRockSolar-flickr
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Sep 24, 2014

REPORT RELEASED: Advantage Local – Why Local Energy Ownership Matters

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

Solar and wind projects can mean big bucks for communities – but only if they keep them local! That’s a key takeaway from Advantage Local: Why Local Energy Ownership Matters, a new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR). The report shows that local control and ownership of renewable energy gives towns and cities… Continue reading

grassroots -  Daniel Schroeder flickr
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Sep 19, 2014

Solar and the New (democratic) Energy Economy

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

I spent three days this week with some of the biggest minds behind the “new economy” movement because their core theme – economic democracy – fits like a glove over ILSR’s work on democratic energy. The big takeaway? Solar power is the spark to energize a new energy economy from the bottom up. This new… Continue reading

solar calculator - flickr Derek Gavey
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 4 Comments | Updated on Sep 4, 2014

Ultimate Solar Calculator “App” Helps You Choose: To Own or Lease?

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

Note: the “Ultimate Solar Calculator” has been updated and simplified. Stay tuned for an updated complex version of this same calculator. A few weeks ago I wrote about the comeback of solar ownership relative to leasing, as the cost of rooftop solar PV continues to fall and new financing options make ownership easier than ever…. Continue reading

foolhardy2-300px
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 10 Comments | Updated on Aug 18, 2014

Why Aren’t Rural Electric Cooperatives Champions of Local Clean Power?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/rural-electric-cooperatives-champions-local-clean-power/

When it comes to ownership, there are few better structures for keeping a community’s wealth local than a cooperative. So why is it that America’s rural electric cooperatives are tethered to dirty, old coal-fired power plants instead of local-wealth generating renewable power? There are a lot of answers to this question, but it might start… Continue reading

solar school check - blackrocksolar flickr
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Aug 1, 2014

With Liberty and Solar for All

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

For over 100 years, the American economy has been fueled by enormous expansion of fossil fuel energy. It has emitted a disproportionate share of its environmental impact (too much) and economic rewards (too few) on those less fortunate. More than any 21st century energy source, solar can power an equitable and environmentally sound energy future. … Continue reading