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Utilities Bid to Own Rooftop Solar Even As They Oppose It

Utilities Bid to Own Rooftop Solar Even As They Oppose It

John Farrell

July 10, 2019

Four years have passed since ILSR’s initial report on utility-owned rooftop solar and this 2019 update shows small growth but some potentially large repercussions.READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Can Philadelphia and its Suburbs Revolutionize Their Local Energy System? — Episode 80 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: Can Philadelphia and its Suburbs Revolutionize Their Local Energy System? — Episode 80 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Marie Donahue

July 3, 2019

More than 100 U.S. cities have now set ambitious commitments to transition to renewable energy, but how are they making these goals a reality? In this episode of our Voices of 100% series from Local Energy Rules, we dig into what has given 16 suburbs of Philadelphia an edge over the central city in making commitments to 100% renewable energy, and what strategies both suburbs and the city can take to make progress.READ MORE


Of New Power Generation, How Much is on the Roof? Quarterly Update — 2019 Q1

Of New Power Generation, How Much is on the Roof? Quarterly Update — 2019 Q1

Marie Donahue

June 24, 2019

Nearly 7 gigawatts of new power generation capacity came online in the first quarter of 2019 — 13 percent of which from small-scale solar installations — in the latest update from ILSR’s Energy Democracy Initiative. Renewable resources claimed a majority share of new power generation for the second quarter in a row.READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Small Iowa Town Pushes for Energy Independence — Episode 79 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: Small Iowa Town Pushes for Energy Independence — Episode 79 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Alden Aaberg

June 20, 2019

More than 100 U.S. cities have now set ambitious commitments to transition to renewable energy, but how are they working to make these goals a reality? In this episode of our Voices of 100% series from Local Energy Rules, we feature the small town of Bloomfield, Iowa, its goal of reaching energy independence, and what investments it is making to reach that goal.READ MORE


Why Minnesota’s Community Solar Program is the Best

Why Minnesota's Community Solar Program is the Best

John Farrell

June 17, 2019

Minnesota's community solar program hit 559 megawatts in June 2019, enough to power more than 100,000 homes each year or about half as much capacity as a typical nuclear power plant!READ MORE


Could New Mexico’s Proposed Community Solar Program Raise the Bar?

Could New Mexico’s Proposed Community Solar Program Raise the Bar?

John Farrell

June 14, 2019

New Mexico's proposed community solar program only passed its state House this year, but the program could set a new standard for community solar in the United States.READ MORE


Using Disaster to Build a New, (d)emocratic Energy Paradigm — Episode 78 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Using Disaster to Build a New, (d)emocratic Energy Paradigm — Episode 78 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

John Farrell

June 6, 2019

In this May 2019 interview, ILSR’s Director of Energy Democracy John Farrell, and Ingrid Vila - an engineer and director of Cambio, a Puerto Rico based nonprofit - discussed the enormous opportunity, and the pitfalls the island must avoid, to seize the island's chance for energy democracy.READ MORE


With Major Hurricane Vulnerability, Puerto Rico Develops Landmark Microgrid Regulations*

With Major Hurricane Vulnerability, Puerto Rico Develops Landmark Microgrid Regulations*

John Farrell

May 31, 2019

The cost of wind and solar energy keep falling, joined by batteries for energy storage. But while the technology of local grid power has become inexpensive, U.S. development of microgrids has lagged. Trapped by a bankrupt utility, high vulnerability to climate change, and high cost fossil-fueled electricity, Puerto Rico has been no exception. However, the island’s landmark microgrid regulations could open the small grid floodgates.READ MORE


A Local First Approach to Rebuilding Puerto Rico’s Electricity System — Episode 77 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

A Local First Approach to Rebuilding Puerto Rico’s Electricity System — Episode 77 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

John Farrell

May 23, 2019

In this episode of Local Energy Rules, Energy Democracy Initiative director John Farrell speaks with Marcel Castro Sitiriche about the challenges Puerto Rico faces in building a local, clean, and resilient energy system in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.READ MORE


Power Plant Securitization: Coming to a State Capitol Near You

Power Plant Securitization: Coming to a State Capitol Near You

John Farrell

May 13, 2019

As clean energy advocates urge retirement of fossil fuel power plants, securitization has become a billion-dollar word with huge implications for who will pay for and who will own the clean energy future. So, what is securitization, and how does it play a role in a clean energy transition?READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Youth Push Small Minnesota Town to Act on Changing Climate and Invest in Local, Renewable Energy — Episode 76 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: Youth Push Small Minnesota Town to Act on Changing Climate and Invest in Local, Renewable Energy — Episode 76 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Marie Donahue

May 9, 2019

More than 100 U.S. cities have now set goals to transition to 100 percent renewable energy, but how are they working to make these goals a reality? In a new episode of our Voices of 100% series from Local Energy Rules, we feature the small town of Grand Marais, Minn., and the strategies it is using to achieve its ambitious local, clean energy commitment.READ MORE


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

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

John Farrell

May 6, 2019

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


Minnesota Community Solar Saves All Utility Customers Money

Minnesota Community Solar Saves All Utility Customers Money

John Farrell

May 3, 2019

Despite its pride in having the nation’s largest community solar program––shown by the massive poster on its headquarters front doors (the above photo)––Xcel Energy can often be caught complaining (erroneously) that utility-owned solar would be more cost-effective. In the following analysis, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance explains why Minnesota’s community solar program has actually saved Xcel Energy customers millions of dollars already.READ MORE


From the Archive: A David and Goliath Fight to Tap World Class Solar — Episode 75 of Local Energy Rules

From the Archive: A David and Goliath Fight to Tap World Class Solar — Episode 75 of Local Energy Rules

Elizabeth Crain

April 25, 2019

In this episode of Local Energy Rules, we revisit an earlier episode from our archives in which ILSR’s Director of Energy Democracy, John Farrell speaks with Mariel Nanasi of New Mexico’s New Energy Economy about how the citizens of Santa Fe could benefit from the economic and environmental benefits of switching to a city-owned utility.READ MORE


Why Garbage Incinerators Are A Bad Deal For Communities — Episode 74 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Why Garbage Incinerators Are A Bad Deal For Communities — Episode 74 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Marie Donahue

April 11, 2019

In this episode of Local Energy Rules, Energy Democracy Initiative director John Farrell speaks with colleagues Marie Donahue and Neil Seldman about the harmful impacts of burning trash to generate electricity. The discussion digs into ILSR’s late-2018 report Waste Incineration: A Dirty Secret in How States Define Renewable Energy and passage of the Baltimore Clean Air Act, a policy which will help shut down the city’s highly polluting waste incinerator.READ MORE