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Energy Democracy Media Roundup – week of November 28, 2016

| Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Nov 29, 2016 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/energy-democracy-media-roundup-week-of-november-28-2016/
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This week in Energy Democracy news:

With national energy policy stagnant (for the moment) states and cities are taking the lead in growing distributed generation and renewable energy such as new 100% renewable commitments in St. Petersburg, Florida and newly approved renewable projects in Greater Minnesota.

Featured Stories:

Why is green pricing a premium when wind power is cheap? by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Another U.S. city commits to 100% renewable energy by Joseph Bebon, Solar Industry Magazine

Conservative Minnesota counties stand to benefit from clean energy development by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

America’s first all-renewable energy city by Colin Woodard, Politico Magazine

Much of the rest of what Burlington’s 42,000 citizens need to keep the lights on comes from a combination of hydroelectric power drawn from a plant it built a half mile up the Winooski River, four wind turbines on nearby Georgia Mountain and a massive array of solar panels at the airport. Together these sources helped secure Burlington the distinction of being the country’s first city that draws 100 percent of its power from renewable sources.

Energy Democracy News Across the States:

Arizona

Faith leaders ask regulators to save solar in Arizona by Will Stone, KJZZ

As Arizona regulators prepare to make some key decisions in the coming months, local faith leaders are calling on them to preserve pro-solar policies.

The letter from more than two dozen religious leaders — among them reverends, pastors and rabbis — urges commissioners to “reduce” the state’s dependence on fossil fuels and move toward rooftop solar.

 

California

Electric cars are less than 1% of the market. Yet automakers are pushing them big time. Why? by Russ Mitchell, Los Angeles Times

 

Colorado

Colorado solar power (in depth) by Aisha Abdelhamid, CleanTechnica

 

Florida

Another U.S. city commits to 100% renewable energy by Joseph Bebon, Solar Industry Magazine

 

Georgia

Net metering regulation in Georgia: the beginning of a bright revolution by Levan Pavlenishvili and Norberto Pignatti, The Financial

 

Illinois

They used to pay $180 a month in energy bills. Now they pay about half by Mary Cooley, Belleville News-Democrat

Rauner team finally weighs in on massive energy bill by Steve Daniels, Crain’s Chicago Business

ComEd strips mandatory demand charges from Illinois energy bill by Julia Pyper, GreenTech Media

 

Louisiana

Louisiana Public Service Commission eliminates cap on solar net metering by KATC-3

 

Maine

Despite political shifts, solar decision expected by year’s end in Maine by Tux Turkel, Portland Press Herald

 

Michigan

Michigan company has made solar shingles for years by Fox 2 – Detroit

 

Minnesota

Wind and solar energy projects could bring 5,000 new jobs to rural MN by University of Minnesota Energy Transition lab

City of Wanamingo considers solar garden by Terri Lenz, Walker Pilot Independent

Renewables already bringing savings to Northeastern Minnesota by Erik Simonson, Duluth News Tribune

Now, it’s understandable that folks remain confused about the true cost of wind and solar. The prices have come down so fast it can be tough to keep up. Just since 2009, the cost of wind has dropped 61 percent while solar has come down 82 percent. Imagine if your own mortgage or rent payment got cut in half. That’s the kind of sale utilities are seeing on renewables, and the numbers are predicted to continue dropping.

Report: Michigan, Minnesota among clean energy ‘success stories’ by Andy Balaskovitz, Midwest Energy News

Conservative Minnesota counties stand to benefit from clean energy development by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

 

Missouri

Missouri high court to rule on decision that undermined renewable portfolio standard by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

Six years after a Missouri legislative committee effectively undermined the state’s new renewable energy standard, the state’s Supreme Court will consider whether to restore the law as it was passed by voters.

Missouri’s high court will hear arguments today as to whether the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules violated the Constitution and the will of the voters when it decided in 2010 to remove two clauses from rules implementing Proposition C.

Prop C, which passed with 66 percent of the vote in 2008, instituted a renewable energy standard requiring that the state’s two largest investor-owned utilities gradually convert a small portion of their generation from fossil-fueled plants to renewable sources of energy. The proportion is to reach 15 percent by 2021.

St. Louis joins energy-efficiency program by Diana Barr, St. Louis Business Journal

 

Ohio

Pipeline opponents must wait for change by Zack Lemon, Toledo Blade

Cuyahoga Council expected to approve wind and solar energy power agreement by Peter Krouse, Cleveland.com

Weatherization program that helps struggling Ohioans may face new funding challenge by Douglas J. Guth, Midwest Energy News

 

North Carolina

Q&A: How North Carolina co-ops help drive the energy future by Rihannon Fionn, Southeast Energy News

While much of North Carolina’s energy focus is on Duke Energy, advancements made by the state’s 26 electric cooperatives, should not be overlooked.

Co-op officials say their organizational structure allows them to be nimble, enabling them to incorporate new technology more quickly than large investor-owned utilities, technology that gives consumers added control while helping them to become more energy efficient. And, what they’re learning from a couple of microgrid pilot programs will guide their future renewable energy investments.

 

Utah

Solar companies denounce Utah utility’s NEM proposal by Joseph Bebon, Solar Industry Magazine

Public Service Commission, give rooftop solar a chance by Dan Lijenquist, Deseret News

Utah solar energy companies feel threatened by Rocky Mountain Power proposal by Chris Rawles, Beehive Start-Ups

Summit County files petition over Rocky Mountain Power proposed rate structure for solar customers by Angelique McNaughton, Park City Park Record

 

Vermont

America’s first all-renewable energy city by Colin Woodward, Politico Magazine

Much of the rest of what Burlington’s 42,000 citizens need to keep the lights on comes from a combination of hydroelectric power drawn from a plant it built a half mile up the Winooski River, four wind turbines on nearby Georgia Mountain and a massive array of solar panels at the airport. Together these sources helped secure Burlington the distinction of being the country’s first city that draws 100 percent of its power from renewable sources.

Shumlin celebrates efficiency program, green energy progress by Jasper Craven, Vermont Digger

 

Wisconsin

Resident touts solar panel value as City Council weighs proposal by Julian Emerson, Eau Claire Leader Telegram

 

Nationwide Energy Democracy News:

Trump could reverse ‘dramatic’ progress on clean energy, experts fear by Oliver Milman, The Guardian

A huge shift to clean energy is under way in the US but the election of Donald Trump as president means progress could be reversed unless cities and states do more, energy experts have warned.

Installed wind capacity has grown by more than 40% in the US since 2011, according to the Georgetown Climate Center, with solar capacity ballooning by 577%.

The US Energy Information Agency has said new coal-fired power plants are “not economically competitive with renewables and other generation sources”, with existing facilities soon to come under pressure from clean energy.

The solar industry in a period of transition by Sean Paul, Georgetown Public Policy Review

Direct ownership of solar will overtake leasing in the US by 2017 by Mike Munsell, GreenTech Media

Renewable energy is seeping into small-town America by David Robers, Vox

Ballot measures on conservation, clean energy, and transit did surprisingly well in 2016 by David Roberts, Vox

Every US state & every country can become an “energy giant” via solar by Zachary Shahan, CleanTechnica

Overheard at NARUC annual meeting 2016 by RTO Insider

Not even the President can stop the clean energy economy by Udi Merhav, GreenBiz