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Karlee Weinmann

About Karlee Weinmann

Karlee Weinmann is a research associate for ILSR’s Energy Democracy initiative. She produces reports that spotlight best practices and spur meaningful action in an evolving energy economy. Before joining ILSR, she worked as a journalist focused primarily on the intersection of policy, community and business.

Contact Karlee   |   View all articles by Karlee Weinmann

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Jul 12, 2017

Slow-to-Accelerate EV Charging Program Provides Lessons for Improvement

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/xcel-energy-ev-charging-minnesota/

Minnesota’s largest investor-owned utility, Xcel Energy, last month reported sparse participation in a program designed to deliver value to customers who charge their electric vehicles when it’s most convenient for the grid. But despite its benefits for the grid and cost savings for customers, the initiative appears stuck in neutral.

By April 2017, a year and a half after its launch, just 95 Xcel customers had opted in to the state-mandated electric vehicle charging tariff. With nearly 1,000 plug-in vehicles registered to Minnesota drivers — a bulk of them likely in Xcel’s metro-area territory — participation numbers hover well below reasonable expectations. Why? Continue reading

Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Jul 3, 2017

Declare Energy Independence with Solar (Just Shop Around First) — Episode 49 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/declare-energy-independence-with-solar-just-shop-around-first-episode-49-of-local-energy-rules-podcast/

The combination of falling prices and rising interest put rooftop solar on a strong trajectory. But even as solar goes mainstream, it’s tough for consumers to tell which installer, which panels, and which financing is right for them.

There has been little transparency in solar pricing, and consumers without technical expertise have a tough time shopping around. It’s a barrier to widespread solar adoption that gnaws at Vikram Aggarwal, and one he’s trying to fix through his online solar-shopping platform, EnergySage.

“The solar economics are so good that if you are a business owner today in America and you are not looking at solar, you are leaving good money on the table,” Aggarwal said. “In a number of states, if you’re a homeowner and you’re not considering solar, you are again leaving good money on the table.”   Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Jun 26, 2017

Amid EV Surge, Austin Eyes a New Way of Doing Business — Episode 48 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/amid-ev-surge-austin-eyes-a-new-way-of-doing-business-episode-48-of-local-energy-rules-podcast/

Improving battery life and safety standards place electric vehicles and self-driving cars closer than ever to the mainstream, and the City of Austin is laying plans to capitalize on the transition. Experts predict a dramatic transformation of the U.S. transportation system will take hold in the coming decade. Karl Popham, who manages emerging technologies and… Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Jun 19, 2017

Boulder County Incentive Program Drives Adoption of Two ‘Sexy Electrics’: Solar and Electric Cars — Episode 47 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/boulder-county-incentive-program-drives-adoption-of-two-sexy-electrics-solar-and-electric-cars-episode-47-of-local-energy-rules-podcast/

An innovative group purchasing program in Boulder County, Colorado, put hundreds of electric vehicles on local roads and sparked the addition of more than 1 megawatt of rooftop solar in its first two years. Now, the initiative is a springboard for efforts nationwide to allow consumers to seize control of their clean energy future. The… Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Jun 12, 2017

Will All New Vehicles Be Electric By 2030? One Expert Says Yes — Episode 46 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/will-all-new-vehicles-be-electric-by-2030-one-expert-says-yes-episode-46-of-local-energy-rules-podcast/

Is the U.S. on the cusp of a clean energy revolution that will fundamentally change how we live, work, and get around? That’s exactly what entrepreneur and lecturer Tony Seba argues in his book, Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation. His multi-pronged predictions include: all new energy will be provided by solar or wind, all… Continue reading

Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Jun 5, 2017

Working Together, Small Solar Firms Compete With Big-Name Rivals — Episode 45 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/working-together-small-solar-firms-compete-with-big-name-rivals-episode-45-of-local-energy-rules-podcast/

Fast-improving technology and growing consumer interest continue to put momentum behind the clean energy transition. Unlike utilities and other industry players that have largely ignored growth opportunities as market dynamics shift, a coalition of independent solar companies is harnessing its combined power to command more influence in the marketplace. Amicus Solar Cooperative formed in Colorado… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on May 24, 2017

Minnesota Regulators Eye Subcommittee to Resolve Distributed Generation Disputes

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/minnesota-regulators-eye-subcommittee-to-resolve-distributed-generation-disputes/

Better technology and falling costs for years have buoyed the clean energy economy, steadily putting rooftop solar, energy efficiency, and other distributed energy resources within reach of more U.S. households and businesses. Still, many utilities remain averse to accommodating these amenities despite significant — and rising — demand in the marketplace. The disconnect between what… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on May 19, 2017

Pioneering Community Solar in the Granite State – Episode 44 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/pioneering-community-solar-in-the-granite-state-episode-44-of-local-energy-rules-podcast/

New Hampshire, home to some of the highest utility costs in the nation, could be fertile ground for community energy projects that promote lower-cost, renewable generation — especially after investors in one shared solar array pioneered a strategy to promote greater local ownership. Regulatory and legal roadblocks forced solar advocates in Keene to develop a… Continue reading

Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Apr 28, 2017

Westchester Power Puts New York Communities in Charge of Energy Future – Episode 43 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/westchester-power-energy-future-episode-43-of-local-energy-rules-podcast/

A growing number of small- and mid-size communities are harnessing their shared market power to promote local renewable energy. Using a state policy called community choice aggregation, these communities can unseat powerful monopoly utilities and seize greater control over their energy futures by choosing their electricity suppliers or generating their own power. Community choice aggregation… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Apr 24, 2017

Xcel Has Room for Renewable Generation on its Minnesota Grid. So Where Is It?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/xcel-renewables-minnesota-grid-puc-2017/

Determining exactly how much local renewable generation can reach Xcel Energy customers in Minnesota hinges in part on how many of these projects the existing grid can accommodate. To that end, the state’s Public Utilities Commission compelled the utility last year to report on more than 1,000 “feeders” delivering electricity to homes and businesses across… Continue reading