Reverse Power Flow: How Solar+Batteries Shift Electric Grid Decision Making from Utilities to Consumers

Date: 17 Jul 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

For 100 years, most decisions about the U.S. electric grid have been made at the top by electric utilities, public regulators, and grid operators. That era has ended, and our report details how the collective impact of individual consumers installing solar-plus-storage reverses the flow of power on the electricity grid.… Read More

Of New Power Generation, How Much is on the Roof? Quarterly Update — 2018 Q1

Date: 12 Jul 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Using the latest available national data on new power generation through the first quarter of 2018, this recent analysis from ILSR’s Energy Democracy Initiative illustrates how renewable energy and small-scale, distributed solar stack up against utility-scale and fossil fuel power plants in supplying the new electricity capacity for the nation.… Read More

Ohio Residents Exercise Community Choice to Bill Themselves for Public Solar — Episode 56 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Date: 5 Jul 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States, Podcast | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Residents of Athens, Ohio, just passed a carbon fee ballot initiative that will add 0.2 cents per kilowatt hour to electricity costs for CCA members. This first-of-its-kind carbon fee proposal, drafted by the non-profit UpGrade Ohio, will support installation of solar on public buildings and provide more resources for public investment.

On this episode of Local Energy Rules, Director of the Energy Democracy Initiative John Farrell speaks with UpGrade Ohio’s information and outreach director Mathew Roberts. As part of the group that designed the carbon fee initiative, Roberts was eager to talk about this and other community-led energy initiatives in Athens.… Read More

Being a B Corp also Benefits Green Mountain Power’s Bottom Line

Date: 26 Jun 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Conventional wisdom suggests that concerns about social and environmental impacts, though well-intended, can distract from a public company’s legal obligation to reward shareholders. But if this conventional wisdom were true, Vermont’s Green Mountain Power ought to be lagging behind its investor-owned electric utility peers. Instead, this certified B Corp is promoting people, planet, and profit, and jumping ahead of its utility industry peers. … Read More

An Open Letter to California Energy Commissioners on the Rooftop Solar Mandate

Date: 22 Jun 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The conventional wisdom in electricity generation is that scale matters. But this outdated notion rests on the assumption that electricity generators compete only in the wholesale market. California’s nearly 1 million solar roofs already producing power provide the factual counterpunch to this myth, but so does ample research on the economies of scale and the price of competition in the wind and solar markets.… Read More

New York Solar Bill Encourages Distributed Energy Market to Stay on Target

Date: 22 Jun 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In the New York solar version of this space epic, the Alliance’s X-wing fighters have scrambled to advance Assembly Bill 10474. It’s the only hope to stop VaDER—Value of Distributed Energy Resources–a tool once intended to transition the state’s solar market to version 2.0, but one that incumbent electric utilities have successfully turned to a dark purpose: quashing the ability of New York residents to go solar together.… Read More

From the Archive: Anya Schoolman, Executive Director of Solar United Neighbors — Episode 55 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Date: 8 Jun 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States, Podcast | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

How did one group of neighbors from Washington, D.C., band together to advance clean energy locally and then build a larger movement replicating their model elsewhere? In the latest episode from the Local Energy Rules podcast archive, John Farrell, Director of ILSR’s Energy Democracy Initiative, revisits a 2013 interview with Anya Schoolman, the major force behind a unique, grassroots solar cooperative model that has since grown into Solar United Neighbors, now a national leader in distributed, cooperative solar. The two discuss effective ways to invest in solar energy and advocate for local policies to support distributed energy from the ground up—strategies as relevant in 2013 as they are today.… Read More

Vote for Decorah Municipal Utility Falls Short, But Local Energy Advocates Persist

Date: 31 May 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The final referendum results in May 2018 were stunningly close, with local organizers coming within three votes of advancing an effort for a municipal electric utility in the small town of Decorah, Iowa. The incumbent monopoly utility outspent local activists by a 4-to-1 margin, overwhelming local organizing despite a study that suggested electric customers could save 30% by switching to a locally owned utility.… Read More

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