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About John Farrell

John Farrell directs the Energy Democracy initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and he develops tools that allow communities to take charge of their energy future, and pursue the maximum economic benefits of the transition to 100% renewable power. More

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Article filed under Energy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 15, 2017

Energy and Policy Institute Exposes Three Ways Electric Utilities Stomp Innovation and Competition

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/energy-and-policy-institute-exposes-three-ways-electric-utilities-stomp-innovation-and-competition/

If you work to secure Americans’ rights to solar energy or to accelerate the deployment of inexpensive renewable energy, you understand that not everyone is in favor. In particular, incumbent electric utilities tend to oppose competition in their (often monopoly) share of the electricity market. Where competition exists, it is plagued by unfairness. Below, we… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 9, 2017

Why Minnesota’s Community Solar Program is the Best

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/minnesotas-community-solar-program/

Update November 2016: From now on, we’ll keep the most recent data on the program’s development in this post I’ve been asked a lot of questions about Minnesota’s community solar program over the past couple years and it’s time to make one thing clear: Minnesota’s program is the best in the country. Why? Because there… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jul 24, 2017

Three Forces Fighting Local Renewable Energy and Three Ways to Fight Back

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/3-forces-fighting-local-renewable-energy/

If you’re reading energy news of late, you might have come across three new ways that forces are aligning against local renewable energy. State governments are increasingly pre-empting local authority on a range of issues, including energy. Utility companies are undercutting state regulation with their legislative lobbyists. And utilities are also bringing their monopoly market power to bear in previously competitive markets.

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 28, 2017

Reminder: The Fight for 100 Percent Renewable is Political

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/reminder-the-fight-for-100-percent-renewable-is-political/

As an increasing number of cities across the U.S. pledge their commitment to purchase 100% of their power from renewable sources in the coming decades, some researchers questioned the feasibility of such energy policies. One recent 100% study takes the position that it is impractical for the continental U.S. to commit to 100% water, wind,… Continue reading

Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 7, 2017

Report: Choosing the Electric Avenue – Unlocking Savings, Emissions Reductions, and Community Benefits of Electric Vehicles

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

The U.S. vehicle market will undergo a massive technology disruption from electric vehicles in the coming decades. Many analysts see the potential for surging sales of these efficient vehicles to enable smart grid management, but few have explored the local impact of electric vehicles: promoting energy democracy. Electric vehicles offer a natural use for solar energy, a pathway to pump more local solar power onto the grid, and a source of resilient power when the grid goes down. Ultimately, electric vehicles are another tool to miniaturize the electricity system, providing unprecedented local control.

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 2, 2017

How States and Cities Can Unlock Local Clean Energy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/how-states-and-cities-can-unlock-local-clean-energy/

Yesterday’s news about the Paris Climate Accords has provoked a groundswell of commitments for local action on climate change. But what can cities actually do in the absence of federal support? A lot. In fact, with the help of states, cities have many avenues to boost their economies and drive down energy costs with local… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on May 4, 2017

Would You Pay 5% More for Local Energy?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/would-you-pay-5-more-for-local-energy/

In recent months, a raft of cities and states pushed up their renewable energy targets to 50%, 80%, or even 100%. But how will that energy be delivered? Will it be from the top down, by merchant wind and solar power plants? Or from the bottom up, by customers producing their own power? The answer… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 11, 2017

The New 1,600 MW Solar Program for Massachusetts Really is SMART

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/the-new-1600-mw-solar-program-for-massachusetts-really-is-smart/

With nearly 1500 megawatts, Massachusetts has the seventh-greatest solar energy capacity in the country, enough to power a quarter-million homes. It has the second-most solar jobs, with over 14,500. Already in a leading position, Massachusetts in January developed a new incentive program to double its solar capacity to over 3 gigawatts. It’s a fascinating blast… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 1, 2017

Energy Democracy in 4 Powerful Steps

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/energy-democracy-in-4-steps/

There’s no question that the energy system is undergoing change. One need look no further than the 1 million solar rooftops in the U.S. or — for the wonky — the source of new power capacity in the U.S. over the past 15 years. In 2003, just 20% of new electric capacity came from renewable… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 17, 2017

Solar: Choice, Competition, and Clean Air

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/choice-competition-and-clean-air/

It’s simple to promote solar power as a money saver and clean alternative to fossil fuel generation. But it sells solar short to focus only on savings, when it also gives Americans the freedom to generate their own energy and to challenge the economic and political power of big corporations. Individual Freedom If individuals want… Continue reading