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Democratic Energy Media Roundup – week of November 23, 2015

| Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Nov 30, 2015 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at
Democratic Energy Media Roundup (2)

This week in Democratic Energy:

The Solar Investment Tax Credit may expire but the sun won’t necessarily be setting on solar.

Overwhelming majority in Hawaii supports rooftop solar.

Minnesota group worries community solar projects won’t kick in until tax credit expires, thanks to Xcel Energy.

Featured Stories

[VIDEO] Group worried Xcel’s solar program won’t kick in before credits expire by CBS-2 WCCO

Will Solar Energy plummet if the Investment Tax Credit fades away? by Amit Ronen & John Farrell, The Wall Street Journal

Created by Nick Stumo-Langer

Created by Nick Stumo-Langer

97% support more rooftop solar in Hawaii, new poll shows by Duane Shimogawa, Pacific Business Journal

What the death of the ITC will mean for solar by R. Kress, Energy Biz

Democratic Energy News Around the Nation


Arizona court advances SolarCity lawsuit against Salt River Project over solar fees by Julia Pyper, GreenTech Media

Big solar fight breaks out between utilities, homeowners by Elizabeth MacDonald, Fox Business


Don’t destroy small solar with new fees by The Editorial Board, LA Daily News

In California, a campaign to take transmission charges out of distributed energy by Jeff St. John, GreenTech Media


A landmark month for utility-backed solar power by Michael Auslen, The Tampa Bay Times

A debate over how to brighten solar power’s future in Florida by Jenny Staletovich, Miami Herald

So where does that leave Joe Citizen? Two dueling referendums fighting to get before voters in November could decide how residents of the sunshine state use its most reliable resource.

One — backed by an odd mix of environmentalists, conservatives and libertarians — wants to open up the state to solar companies by over-riding a law that lets only the state’s four major utilities sell electricity. Florida is one of only four states that still have the law, effectively locking out the fast-growing solar industry by blocking lease options used in other states to get around upfront costs.

The other proposed amendment, backed by utilities, would leave the law in place while adding a clause that lets utilities levy charges to ensure regular users don’t “subsidize” solar users who hop back onto the grid.


US’ first trade group for distributed energy resources launches in Hawaii by Andy Colthorpe, PV-Tech

97% support more rooftop solar in Hawaii, new poll shows by Duane Shimogawa, Pacific Business Journal



Solar projects holding as lawmakers debate incentives by Christian M. Wade, Richmond Register

Editorial: Making solar power competitive by The MetroWest Daily News

Mass. House considers bill to raise cap on solar net metering by Matt Murphy, The Boston Globe

Failure to reach net metering deal could kill 100MW of commercial solar in Mass. next year by Stephen Lacey, GreenTech Media

Net metering is not a subsidy by Emily Rochon, Common Wealth Magazine


Utility influence in Michigan energy debate includes $500,000 in political donations, 69 lobbyists by Emily Lawler, MLive

In less than a year the state’s two largest utilities, Consumers Energy and DTE Energy, have donated over $500,000 to officeholders. Those numbers come from the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, which analysed campaign contributions to candidate committees, leadership PACs and legislative caucus PACs from Nov. 24, 2014 through Oct. 20, 2015.

DTE Energy topped the list with $269,000 in donations while Consumers Energy spent $144,150. Other industry-related companies who showed up as big donors included  ITC Holdings ($36,075), NextEra Energy ($28,000) and Michigan Action Committee for Rural Electrification ($19,375).

Michigan lawmakers add 30% renewables ‘goal’ to energy legislation by Robert Walton, UtilityDive


Calculator helps Minnesotans make financial sense of community solar by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

[VIDEO] Group worried Xcel’s solar program won’t kick in before credits expire by CBS-2 WCCO

Report: Minnesota efficiency program returns $4 for every $1 invested by Robert Walton, UtilityDive

A new report from Minnesota puts energy efficiency in terms of economic impacts, and finds the state’s nationally-recognized energy efficiency program is generating value at four times the rate of investment.
“This comprehensive study makes it clear that energy efficiency is a smart, positive investment for our state,” Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman said in a statement. “The Conservation Improvement Program not only saves energy and reduces utility bills for Minnesota consumers and businesses. It also creates jobs, boosts our economy and protects our environment.”


Missouri clean-energy group plans initiative on November 2016 ballot by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News


Northwestern Ohio officials back plan for local control over wind-farm by Dan Gearino, The Columbus Dispatch


A year after year fixed-fee increase, Green Bay utility seeks another by Thomas Content, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Democratic Energy News Around the Nation

Bringing people to the power by Aaron Bartley, The Huffington Post

But the rosy future of decentralized power generation, democratic ownership and diminished energy imperialism, which together form the core principles of the rising Energy Democracy movement, is not assured. It faces opposition from the vested carbon interests and new corporate formations built on centralized control of the emerging renewable sector.

New fees seen to weaken demand for rooftop solar by Bobby Magill, Climate Central

Sunverge is on a mission to marry solar power and energy storage by Peter Kelly-Detweiler, Forbes

Rising investor skepticism over residential solar is unjustified by Seeking Alpha

New US policy: A boon for distributed energy? by Craig Howie, COSPP

The biggest solar breakthrough you’ve never heard of by William Pentland, Forbes

More than half of US state are studying or changing net metering policies by Julia Pyper, GreenTech Media

Determining the value of solar is more important than ever by Jesse Grossman, GreenTech Media

Regulated utilities are spending billions, but why? by William Pentland, Forbes