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The State(s) of Distributed Solar — 2018 Update

The State(s) of Distributed Solar — 2018 Update

Marie Donahue

March 12, 2019

As investments in renewable energy grow, more states are prioritizing solar. But how much of that solar is coming from smaller, distributed sources that help communities build wealth locally? Using updated data for 2018, we examine state-by-state solar markets and the corresponding share of distributed solar systems to see which states have seen the greatest success in investing in local, clean energy.READ MORE


Don’t-Miss Opportunity for Local Choice in Landmark Carbon-Free Bills — Episode 72 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Don't-Miss Opportunity for Local Choice in Landmark Carbon-Free Bills — Episode 72 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

John Farrell

March 8, 2019

In New Mexico, proposed climate legislation would give one of the state’s monopoly utilities a huge handout, leaving customers holding the bag. In a new episode of Local Energy Rules, Mariel Nanasi of the New Energy Economy speaks with John Farrell about this bill setting a dangerous precedent and the alternative opportunity to support local choice and build wealth in New Mexico communities, instead.READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Boulder Takes Bold Steps to Support Local Renewable Energy — Episode 71 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: Boulder Takes Bold Steps to Support Local Renewable Energy — Episode 71 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Marie Donahue

March 6, 2019

Over 100 U.S. cities have now set goals to transition to 100 percent renewable energy. In a new episode of our Voices of 100% series from Local Energy Rules, we feature the city of Boulder, Colo., and the strategies it is using to make its ambitious local, clean energy goal a reality.READ MORE


Why ILSR’s 2019 Community Power Scorecard Matters

Why ILSR's 2019 Community Power Scorecard Matters

John Farrell

February 27, 2019

With 100 U.S. cities pledging to reach 100 percent renewable energy, the 2019 Community Power Scorecard matters more than ever, grading states whether their energy policies help or hurt cities make their ambitious clean energy goals.READ MORE


Should Utilities Be Buying New Gas Plants?

Should Utilities Be Buying New Gas Plants?

John Farrell

February 25, 2019

When a monopoly electric company in Minnesota recently went shopping to buy a new gas plant, we offered our candid assessment to the state’s regulators: affordable renewable energy and energy storage make this a risky bet for the state's electricity customers.READ MORE


The 2019 Community Power Scorecard

The 2019 Community Power Scorecard

Marie Donahue

February 21, 2019

In the 2019 Community Power Scorecard, four states excelled, 11 states and the District of Columbia saw above average scores, 15 were mediocre, and 20 states received failing grades at enabling individuals and communities to take charge of their energy futures.READ MORE


Why Minnesota’s Community Solar Program is the Best

Why Minnesota's Community Solar Program is the Best

John Farrell

February 15, 2019

Minnesota's community solar program hit 513 megawatts in February 2019, nearly half as much capacity as a nuclear power plant!READ MORE


Planning for Local Energy and Climate Action in Minneapolis — Episode 70 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Planning for Local Energy and Climate Action in Minneapolis — Episode 70 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Marie Donahue

February 14, 2019

In this episode of Local Energy Rules, Energy Democracy Initiative director John Farrell speaks with Minneapolis City Councilmember Jeremy Schroeder about the city’s unique partnership with its incumbent utility companies and other tools the city can use to address climate change locally.READ MORE


Electric Utilities Must Stop Illegally Concealing Public Cost Data

Electric Utilities Must Stop Illegally Concealing Public Cost Data

John Farrell

February 4, 2019

Utilities in many states have undercut competition by playing “hide the peanut.” Instead of sharing their avoided cost publicly, as required by Congress and state laws, utilities have hidden them behind a “trade secret” designation.READ MORE


Small Minnesota Community Faces David v. Goliath Negotiation for Community Solar  — Episode 69 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Small Minnesota Community Faces David v. Goliath Negotiation for Community Solar — Episode 69 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

John Farrell

February 1, 2019

What does it take to build a community solar project (with battery storage) in a small town in northern Minnesota when the monopoly wholesale energy company tells your small city-owned utility to “lawyer up”? In this podcast episode, we talk with Bill Schnell of Grand Rapids, Minn., about that community's effort negotiate a project deal with the community's much larger utility supplier.READ MORE


In New Op-Ed: John Farrell on Why California Should Take Over Its Bankrupt Utility

In New Op-Ed: John Farrell on Why California Should Take Over Its Bankrupt Utility

Michael Glassman

January 28, 2019

John Farrell, argues against a potential Pacific Gas & Electric bailout in a commentary for Green Tech Media. John makes the case for publicly owned energy utilities.READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Midwestern City Pressures Incumbent Utility to Clean Up Its Act — Episode 68 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: Midwestern City Pressures Incumbent Utility to Clean Up Its Act — Episode 68 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Marie Donahue

January 24, 2019

Today, over 100 U.S. cities have made formal commitments to 100 percent renewable energy. In our seventh episode of the Voices of 100% series from Local Energy Rules, we highlight how Madison, Wis., is pushing their coal-heavy, investor-owned utility to change its ways. Raj Shukla, chair of the Sustainable Madison Committee, shares lessons for how cities can advance local climate action and renewable power goals by putting pressure on their incumbent utilities.READ MORE


Minnesota Utility Tees Up Programs to Support an Electric Vehicle Future

Minnesota Utility Tees Up Programs to Support an Electric Vehicle Future

John Farrell

January 23, 2019

In a filing late last year, a Minnesota electric utility put forward two new electric vehicle charging pilots as part of a suite of new policy tools to encourage driving electric. ILSR applauds the efforts, and offers a few suggestions.READ MORE


Of New Power Generation, How Much is on the Roof? Quarterly Update — 2018 Q3

Of New Power Generation, How Much is on the Roof? Quarterly Update — 2018 Q3

Marie Donahue

January 16, 2019

Roughly 5 gigawatts of new power generation capacity came online during the third quarter of 2018, as illustrated in a new quarterly update from ILSR’s Energy Democracy Initiative. Our updated chart of new power plant capacity illustrates how growth in natural gas capacity slowed, while new distributed solar and wind saw steady growth.READ MORE


ILSR’s Top 10 Local Energy Posts of 2018

ILSR's Top 10 Local Energy Posts of 2018

John Farrell

January 11, 2019

What did our readers and listeners like best from our Energy Democracy program? Podcasts and solar and storage, oh my!READ MORE