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Article, Report, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 26, 2016

Report: Beyond Sharing – How Communities Can Take Ownership of Renewable Power

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

Browse the Report Introduction Benefits of Community Renewable Energy U.S. Barriers to Community Renewable Energy Barrier Busting Exceptional Community Energy Projects Community as City A Community Renewable Energy Gold Standard Conclusion Appendix Footnotes The electric utility monopoly is breaking up, but will renewable energy become another form of wealth extraction or will community renewable energy… Continue reading

Resource filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth | Written by Brenda Platt | No Comments | Updated on Apr 26, 2016

The Benefits of Composting & Compost Use

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

Composting and compost use have numerous benefits in addition to green job creation and reducing the amount of waste destined for landfills and incinerators. At the same time we throw away tons of food scraps and yard trimmings, our soils are eroding and losing nutrients, while damaging receiving waters. Excess fertilizers from farms and suburban… Continue reading

Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on Apr 20, 2016

Sunshine and Ownership: A Cooperative Solar Garden Blooms in North Minneapolis – Episode 34 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/sunshine-and-ownership-a-cooperative-solar-garden-blooms-in-north-minneapolis-episode-34-of-local-energy-rules/

In anticipation of our new community-owned renewable energy report, Beyond Sharing: How Communities Can Take Ownership of Renewable Power, we are releasing the first in a series of Local Energy Rules podcasts that informed the writing of this report. When people pay their electric bill to an investor-owned utility such as Minnesota’s Xcel Energy, they are… Continue reading

Photo: Lost our lease.
Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Apr 20, 2016

How Rising Commercial Rents Are Threatening Independent Businesses, and What Cities Are Doing About It

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

As the cost of leasing commercial space soars in many U.S. cities, a new report from ILSR examines what’s behind the skyrocketing rents and explores six broad policy strategies that elected officials and community leaders are proposing to keep commercial space appropriate, accessible, and affordable for independent businesses. Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Apr 18, 2016

RS Fiber: Fertile Fields for new Rural Internet Cooperative

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

21ST CENTURY FARMS REQUIRE 21ST CENTURY CONNECTIVITY. Denied Access by telephone and cable companies, they created a new model. Winthrop, MN — A new trend is emerging in rural communities throughout the United States: Fiber-to-the-Farm. Tired of waiting for real Internet access from big companies, farmers are building it themselves. Communities in and around Minnesota’s… Continue reading

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

Sharply Higher Rooftop Solar Potential Increases Opportunity for Energy Self-Reliance

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/sharply-higher-rooftop-solar-potential-increases-potential-for-energy-self-reliance/

Earlier this year, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory released a new estimate of rooftop solar potential, an update to 2008 figures we used in our landmark state-by-state energy atlas, Energy Self-Reliant States. The bottom line: there’s much more potential to generate our electricity from solar on nearby buildings than we previously thought. The irony is… Continue reading

Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Apr 8, 2016

Local Media Covers The MN “Donut Hole” Phenomenon: Video, Editorial

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/42642-2/

As Minnesota’s Legislature decides on funding for the state’s Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program, local media is calling on state leaders to prioritize local connectivity in the Capitol Chambers. This year, Governor Dayton’s office is recommending allocating $100 million to the program. Continue reading

Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on Apr 7, 2016

Freeing Electric Cooperatives from Fossil Fuel Serfdom? – Episode 33 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/freeing-electric-cooperatives-from-fossil-fuel-serfdom-episode-33-of-local-energy-rules/

Electric cooperatives arose from New Deal legislation that provided government-backed low-interest loans to bring electricity to rural areas that for-profit companies wouldn’t serve in the 1930s. They were engines of the rural economy. But today they face unique challenges, including a disproportionate reliance on coal-fired power, often purchased on decades-long contracts. Additionally, even though rural… Continue reading

Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on Apr 6, 2016

A Kansas Electric Cooperative Offers Energy Savings with $0 Down – Episode 32 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/a-kansas-electric-cooperative-offers-energy-savings-with-0-down-episode-32-of-local-energy-rules/

It’s not sexy. But it can make you warmer. It can even make you cooler. On-bill financing provides loans for energy efficiency improvements through the local utility company, paid back with energy savings on monthly electric (or gas) bills. And it’s a powerful tool for simplifying the financing for energy savings, and for making home… Continue reading

Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on Apr 5, 2016

Members Reviving Atlanta Electric Co-op After CEO Takes Millions – Episode 31 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/members-reviving-atlanta-electric-co-op-after-ceo-takes-millions-episode-31-of-local-energy-rules/

Former CEO Dwight Brown (pictured right) did a number on the Cobb Electric Membership Corporation (EMC). Cobb EMC serves around 175,000 member-owners just outside of Atlanta, Ga., and is one of 900 member-owned electric cooperatives in the United States. From the late 1990s on, the co-op’s members lost nearly $400 million dollars to Brown’s for-profit… Continue reading

Article, Resource filed under Energy | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Mar 31, 2016

Watch: John Farrell Presentation – Does Utility 2.0 Get Us to Energy Democracy?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/watch-john-farrell-presentation-does-utility-2-0-get-us-to-energy-democracy/

ILSR’s John Farrell led a seminar on energy democracy at the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association’s 2016 annual conference in Boston, MA. The conference was held from March 8th through the 10th and focused on advancing the adoption of sustainable energy practices by bringing together over 3,500 renewable energy professionals. John’s presentation was titled “Does Electric… Continue reading

Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 29, 2016

Report: Re-Member-ing the Electric Cooperative

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

by John Farrell, Matt Grimley & Nick Stumo-Langer Electric cooperatives have been the backbone of the nation’s rural electrical system for more than 80 years. Their mission and business model now face more challenges than ever, from financial to contractual to basic member control. But the opportunity is equally great, with a chance for member-driven investment… Continue reading

Article, Resource filed under The Public Good | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Mar 29, 2016

Watch: Sustainable Communities and Local Self-Reliance

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/watch-sustainable-communities-and-local-self-reliance/

On March 25th, 2010, David Morris delivered the keynote presentation to Wisconsin’s Sustainable Communities Public Policy Forum. He talks about local self-reliance as both a means and an end, a strategy and a goal. A clean environment and a health economy depend on communities extracting the maximum value from local human, capital and natural resources…. Continue reading

Article, Resource filed under Energy | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Mar 28, 2016

Watch: Mighty Microgrids Webinar Recording

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/watch-mighty-microgrids-webinar-recording/

On Tuesday, March 15th, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance hosted a webinar titled “Breaking the Macro-Barriers to Microgrids.” The webinar was led by John Farrell, the Director of ILSR’s Energy Democracy initiative and Matt Grimley, the author of ILSR’s report, Mighty Microgrids. The webinar was broken into two parts. The first part consisted of a… Continue reading

Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Mar 17, 2016

Listen: John Farrell Gives Plenary Presentation at NESEA – Local Energy Rules Podcast Extra

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/john-farrell-nesea-keynote/

ILSR’s John Farrell was a plenary speaker at the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association’s 2016 annual conference in Boston, MA. The conference was held from March 8th through the 10th and focused on advancing the adoption of sustainable energy practices by bringing over 3,500 renewable energy professionals together. John’s opening plenary pinpointed key challenges of our current centralized… Continue reading