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Photo: Walmart Store
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 9, 2014

Walton Family Undermining Rooftop Solar, ILSR Report Finds

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

The Walton family — majority owners of Walmart — are impeding America’s transition to a clean energy future, a new study by ILSR finds. At a time when more than 500,000 households and businesses are generating their own solar electricity, and the U.S. solar industry is employing 143,000 people, the Waltons are funding nearly two dozen organizations working to roll back renewable energy policies, while a Walton-owned company is pushing for regulations aimed at hindering the growth of rooftop solar power. Continue reading

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

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
Featured 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/

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. Is owning a solar panel right for you? Find out now! The calculator below lets you compare (leasing) apples to (ownership)… Continue reading

courtroom - flickr  Clyde Robinson
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 7, 2014

Can PUCs Lead on Distributed Renewable Energy?

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

If you’re like most renewable energy advocates that have interacted with a Public Utilities Commission, you probably don’t think they’re a repository of progressive policy toward distributed renewable energy.  In general, you’re right. But it’s worth sharing a few, promising examples of Public Utilities Commissions around the U.S. that are actually making things better for… 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

tractor and wind turbines - flickr  Alexander Boden
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Jul 25, 2014

A $6 Billion Opportunity for the Rural Energy Economy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/6-billion-opportunity-rural-energy-economy/

One of the biggest barriers to making investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy is the upfront cost. So what if members of rural electric cooperative and rural municipal electric utilities could borrow money for small-scale improvements on the same terms as the utilities for their large-scale power plants? Starting in 2014, they can. The… Continue reading