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Winter solar panels Minnesota
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Sep 27, 2013

Setting the Value of Solar – Part 1 of Minnesota’s Process

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/setting-solar-part-1-minnesotas-process/

What is solar worth to a utility? It’s an issue of national debate, but one unexpected state – Minnesota – is engaging a formal process for determining the methodology for setting the value of solar. As the first multi-utility process, it’s likely to set a precedent nationwide for what the “value of solar” will mean… 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

crap-cable-threatens-cloud-services
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Sep 24, 2013

Crap Cable Threatens Cloud Services

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/crap-cable-threatens-cloud-services

For my money, the best headline of last week was “The U.S.’s crap infrastructure threatens the cloud.” The rant goes on to explain just how crummy our access to the Internet is. As a patriotic American, I find the current political atmosphere where telecom lobbyists set the agenda to be a nightmare. All over the… Continue reading

monticello-fiber-price-war-offers-key-lessons-for-broadband-competition
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Sep 19, 2013

Monticello Fiber Price War Offers Key Lessons for Broadband Competition

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/monticello-fiber-price-war-offers-key-lessons-broadband-competition

Monticello Minnesota may be located 40 miles outside Minneapolis, but it is the center of the planet when it comes to FTTH competition. We have tried and cannot identify another community localed on planet earth with two separate FTTH networks going head to head across the entire community. We have long written about Monticello, most… Continue reading

solar gas infographic xcel
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Sep 16, 2013

Utility Agrees: (Their) Solar Should Supplant Natural Gas

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/utility-agrees-their-solar-supplant-natural-gas/

Five months ago, one of the country’s ten largest electric utilities told regulators in Minnesota that it needed three new natural gas power plants to handle peak energy demand.  This week, the same company’s Colorado division announced plans to use more solar power because it is cost competitive with gas. Maybe they need a memo… Continue reading

zombie_hands_reaching_out_of_a_fresh_grave_0515-0909-1716-3056_SMU
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Sep 13, 2013

Utility Shocked to Find It’s Already Dead

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

There’s an increasingly shrill discussion among utilities (and from their own Edison Electric Institute) about the threat to their business from distributed energy, as their customers shift to getting their own power from local renewable resources.  Reports and news stories – e.g. “Adapt or Die” – suggest changes to the business model are imminent as… Continue reading

well-worth-watching-the-internet-must-go
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Sep 9, 2013

Well Worth Watching: The Internet Must Go

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/well-worth-watching-internet-must-go

The Internet Must Go is a fun look at a serious topic: how big cable and telephone companies are trying to make us pay more for less access to the Internet. Please watch and share! Video:  Continue reading

prometheus-joins-us-to-discuss-community-radio-and-internet-community-broadband-bits-episode-61
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Aug 27, 2013

Prometheus Joins Us to Discuss Community Radio and Internet – Community Broadband Bits Episode 61

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/prometheus-joins-us-discuss-community-radio-and-internet-community-broadband-bits-episode-61

The Prometheus Radio Project is an impressive grassroots organization that has successfully opened the radio airwaves to communities after big corporations had effectively locked up unused radio channel for years. Prometheus Policy Director Sanjay Jolly joins us for Episode #61 of our Community Broadband Bits podcast. Our conversation ranges from the recent history of pirate… Continue reading

relative energy efficiency of building codes.001
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 26, 2013

Relative Energy Efficiency of Residential Building Energy Codes [Chart]

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/relative-energy-efficiency-residential-building-energy-codes-chart/

Update 9/3/13: Environmental groups and home builders associations may have just reached an historic agreement on building codes, focusing on improving efficiency through a performance based measure (the Home Energy Rating System) instead of the prescriptive IECC codes. The upshot is a 20% improvement over the 2012 IECC code within two years by allowing builders… Continue reading