John Farrell directs the Energy Democracy Initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and widely known as the guru of distributed energy. He is best known for his vivid illustrations of the economic and environmental benefits of local ownership of decentralized renewable energy.

John authored Energy Self-Reliant States, a state-by-state atlas of renewable energy potential highlighted in the New York Times, showing that most states don’t need to look outside their borders to meet their electricity needs. He’s also written extensively on the economic advantages of Democratizing the Electricity System and community renewable energy, published a rich interactive map on solar grid parity, and polished the policies (like Minnesota’s solar energy standard) necessary to support locally owned renewable energy development.

John provides data-rich presentations on local renewable energy for the common citizen, and has wowed crowds from Presque Isle, Maine to San Francisco to Berlin.  He’s keynoted conferences like Solar Energy Focus in Washington, DC, and the Midwest Energy Fair.

John’s work appears most regularly on Energy Self-Reliant States, a blog with timely and compelling analysis of current energy discussions and policy.  The posts are frequently enriched by charts, translating the complex economics of energy into tools for advancing local energy ownership and have been regularly syndicated at Grist, CleanTechnica, and Renewable Energy World.

Reach John on Twitter @johnffarrell or by email at

Media Clips

John’s expertise is sought after in energy circles all over the United States. He is an engaging and lively interviewee and provides rich content at conferences and in webinars. Check him out in action in the clips below!