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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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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

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

Broadly Sharing the Benefits of “Decarbonization”

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/broadly-sharing-the-benefits-of-decarbonization/

Last summer I saw a presentation on “deep decarbonization” that outlined necessary changes in the U.S. economy in order to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The presentation was fascinating, offering some very specific elements to focus our attention. For example, the following graphic shows the average number of replacements for various infrastructure types prior to… Continue reading

Article, Rule filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 18, 2016

Virtual Net Metering

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/virtual-net-metering/

Net metering is a common distributed renewable energy policy in the United States, allowing individuals to “turn back” their meter (and reduce their electric bill) by generating on-site electricity. But utility accounting systems typically prevent people from sharing the output from a single, common solar or wind project. Virtual (or group or neighborhood) net metering… Continue reading

Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 11, 2016

Report: Inclusive Financing for Efficiency and Renewable Energy

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

Download the Report   Browse the Report Executive Summary A Huge Opportunity      Challenges to Reaching Most Customers      A Necessary Paradigm Shift A Powerful Universal Tool: Inclusive Financing      Program Design       Key Results      Immediate Savings      Universal Access      Simplicity      Bigger Savings  … Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 27, 2016

A Deep Dive to Answer Ken Bone’s Energy Question

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/ken-bone-energy-question/

At the second presidential candidate debate, one red-sweater-wearing American earned notoriety for his question about little-discussed energy policy. The question deserved a thorough response, given that it brushes on some myths of the clean energy transition but also the challenge of guaranteeing justice for displaced workers. Midwesterner Ken Bone asked this question: What steps will… Continue reading