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Minnesota’s Solar Gardens: the Status and Benefits of Community Solar

Date: 6 May 2019 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Minnesota is the national leader in community solar, with 208 projects around the state, more than a third of all community solar projects in the U.S. The state’s community solar policy is the best, making it easy to develop and subscribe to solar power. Read more about the benefits for customers, workers, and landowners in a new report from Vote Solar, MnSEIA, and the Institute for Local Self Reliance.… Read More

Report: Waste Incineration: A Dirty Secret in How States Define Renewable Energy

Date: 12 Dec 2018 | posted in: Energy, Waste to Wealth | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Almost half of U.S. states allow energy produced by burning garbage to count toward their renewable energy requirements. In a new report, we unpack why incineration is so problematic and how communities can embrace cleaner alternatives. … Read More

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

ILSR’s 2017 Annual Report: Building Local Power

Date: 28 Nov 2017 | posted in: Energy, MuniNetworks, Retail, waste - composting, Waste to Wealth | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In each of our wide-ranging initiatives, we work alongside community leaders to provide the hard data, detailed policy expertise, and compelling narratives needed to support effective advocacy, organizing, and real-life projects. ILSR was busy in 2017, check out the progress we’ve made this year.… Read More

Mergers and Monopoly: How Concentration Changes the Electricity Business

Date: 31 Oct 2017 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

A wave of consolidation has swept across the U.S. economy over the past decade, reshaping already-powerful corporations into financial and political powerhouses. The trend has taken particular hold among electric utilities, a sector where monopoly reigns virtually unchecked.

Consolidated, investor-owned utilities now have service territories that span several states and include millions of customers. They say gobbling competitors delivers operational efficiencies and cost savings. But who sees the benefits? And what are the unspoken costs?

This report explains how concentration of power in monopoly utilities delivers fewer customer benefits than alleged, and how the unmentioned costs of concentrating power in a few firms undermines protection of the public interest.… Read More

Report: Choosing the Electric Avenue – Unlocking Savings, Emissions Reductions, and Community Benefits of Electric Vehicles

Date: 7 Jun 2017 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The U.S. vehicle market will undergo a massive technology disruption from electric vehicles in the coming decades. Many analysts see the potential for surging sales of these efficient vehicles to enable smart grid management, but few have explored the local impact of electric vehicles: promoting energy democracy. Electric vehicles offer a natural use for solar energy, a pathway to pump more local solar power onto the grid, and a source of resilient power when the grid goes down. Ultimately, electric vehicles are another tool to miniaturize the electricity system, providing unprecedented local control.
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Decentralizing Economic Power, Reinvigorating Democracy: ILSR’s Impact in 2016

ILSR’s forward-thinking, bottom-up solutions have never been more needed.   Please help us expand our impact in 2017 by making a donation to ILSR. As we head into a turbulent era of government, the values and goals of the Institute for … Read More

Report: Inclusive Financing for Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Date: 11 Nov 2016 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Energy efficiency and renewables represent the most promising pathway to lower energy costs for individual consumers and utilities. But limited access hinders progress. Utilities can knock down major barriers to energy efficiency and renewables by allowing customers to make site-specific investments and recovering utility costs through an opt-in tariff. … Read More

Report: Sparking Grid Savings Starts at Home

Date: 12 Oct 2016 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

New technology, particularly in the hands of electric customers, is creating an unprecedented opportunity to tap the many other sources of controllable electricity demand in homes and businesses. Utilities, like Xcel Energy in Minnesota, should harness these lower-cost ways to meet rising peak energy demand.… Read More

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

Date: 26 Apr 2016 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

This report explores the opportunity of community renewable energy to enable energy democracy, examining the benefits and barriers, barrier-busting policies, powerful examples, and how cities and cooperatives can lead the way.… Read More

Report: Re-Member-ing the Electric Cooperative

Date: 29 Mar 2016 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

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 to power hundreds of local economies across the rural United States.… Read More

Report: Mighty Microgrids

Date: 3 Mar 2016 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Communities all over the country are finding ways to break the macro barriers to microgrids. As we flip from a top-down to bottom-up grid management structure, major policy barriers must be lifted in order to expand energy democracy to customers and producers.… Read More

Report: Hawai’i at the Energy Crossroads

Date: 6 Oct 2015 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

On the one hand: Sky-high electricity prices. A 20th century electricity system burning fuel oil and controlled by large monopoly electric utilities. A proposed utility takeover. On the other hand: A new 100% renewable energy standard. Rooftop solar on one of ten homes, saving each customer hundreds of dollars per year. Cost-effective energy storage. A rising interest in locally controlled utilities. Welcome to Hawai’i at the Energy Crossroads.… Read More

Report: Public Rooftop Revolution

Date: 1 Jun 2015 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

There are a lot of stories on residential rooftop solar but few if any on what cities are doing to make themselves energy self-reliant by using their own buildings and lands to generate power. In Public Rooftop Revolution, ILSR estimates … Read More

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