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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

jff presenting in tucson cropped
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 20, 2015

Could Solar Shine in a Tucson City-Utility Partnership?

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

A city in the sunny southwest, Tucson is wondering how it can maximize its use of cost-effective, economy-boosting solar power. Is a partnership with the electric utility, as seen in Minneapolis, the answer? ILSR’s Director of Democratic Energy gave this presentation to several audiences on a recent (delightful) visit to Tucson, Arizona, to explore the… Continue reading

cloud over solar panel - flickr  Pieter Morlion
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 11, 2015

How and Why Utilities Make Solar Look Expensive

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

I’m visiting the wonderful folks from Sustainable Tucson in Arizona next week to talk about the opportunities that solar and clean energy offer their local economy. In preparation, I’m looking at their current monopoly electricity provider, Tucson Electric Power. Remarkably, the utility acquires just 4% of its electricity from renewable resources (and over 70% from… Continue reading

santa fe sunset - flickr Drriss & Marrionn
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 23, 2015

How to Maximize Municipal Energy Options for Santa Fe (Public Radio Broadcast)

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/talking-municipal-energy-options-santa-fe-public-radio/

Santa Fe, NM, is battling with its electric utility, PNM, over the utility’s continued heavy reliance on large-scale fossil fuel power plants in a state with some of the best sun and wind resources in the country. Director of Democratic Energy John Farrell joined Santa Fe City Councilor Patti Bushee to discuss options for Santa… Continue reading

luxury tax monopoly - flickr Philip Taylor
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Jan 9, 2015

Electricity’s Un-Natural Monopoly

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

The U.S. electricity system is undergoing the biggest change in its 130-year history, undermining the rationale for monopoly ownership and control. Until recently, electricity service was similar to water or roads, where a natural monopoly was most efficient. Only a single, standardized electric grid was needed to connect each building. Technology options were limited to… Continue reading

us power plant capacity additions 2014 thru Q3 ILSR
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 18, 2014

Distributed Solar a Substantial Portion of 2014 Power Plant Capacity

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/distributed-solar-substantial-portion-2014-power-plant-capacity/

Renewable energy continues to grow substantially in the U.S. and in 2014 it remains a large portion of new power plant capacity – 30% or more through the first three quarters. Often overlooked, distributed solar on residential and commercial property is making up a substantial share of new electrical generating capacity.  The following chart illustrates… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy | Written by Lizzi Whittlesey | No Comments | Updated on Dec 17, 2014

Democratic Energy Media Roundup – December 15, 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-15-2014-2/

This week in democratic energy, media reports covered South Carolina’s net metering deal, Minnesota’s Solar Rewards Community program, and more. From Switchboard, the Natural Resources Defense Council Staff Blog, Pierre Bull discussed a recent report that highlights which states excel and which states lag in promoting solar. Bull writes: “Knowledge is power, or at least… Continue reading

sunrise on solar - flickr Jonathan Potts
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 15, 2014

A $48 Billion Opportunity for U.S. Electric Customers

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/u-s-utility-customers-save-48-billion-solar-efficiency/

Electricity customers in the U.S. got good news last week. A new report from Accenture highlighted a potential revenue loss for U.S. utilities of $48 billion per year by 2025 due to distributed solar and energy efficiency. But where does that money go? If we pursue a democratic energy system as outlined in ILSR’s new… 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

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

Lifting State Limits on Local Power

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

In the first half of 2014, distributed local solar power constituted over 25% of new power plant capacity. This impressive growth continues several years where solar power has grown by leaps and bounds, producing power right where it’s needed and juicing up local economies. But many states have limited how much of their electricity can… Continue reading