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Featured Article, Resource filed under Broadband, Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Feb 23, 2017

The Power and Perils of Cooperatives – Episode 12 of the Building Local Power Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/the-power-and-perils-of-cooperatives-episode-12-of-the-building-local-power-podcast/

In this episode, Christopher Mitchell, the director of ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks initiative, interviews Hannah Trostle and Karlee Weinmann, Research Associates for the Community Broadband Networks and Energy Democracy initiatives, respectively. The three discuss the cooperative model of ownership and how this model can enable investment in gigabit Internet connections for their member-owners, but also how they are subject to a low participation rates in their elections. Continue reading

Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Feb 8, 2017

Commentary: Removing Co-op Oversight Jeopardizes Rural Solar

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/commentary-removing-co-op-oversight-jeopardizes-rural-solar/

Midwest Energy News – February 8, 2017

By John Farrell & Karlee Weinmann

A plan floated by Minnesota lawmakers to exempt rural electric cooperatives from virtually all regulatory oversight would allow these utilities to restrict development of local solar power, even where their member-owners support renewable energy. Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Feb 3, 2017

Thanks to Co-op, Small Iowa Town Goes Big On Solar

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/thanks-to-co-op-small-iowa-town-goes-big-on-solar/

It’s hard to imagine a place more bucolic than the rural farming communities clustered around Kalona, Iowa — the kind of place that for generations has embodied conservative, blue-collar values woven throughout rural America. Nestled in the gently rolling hills of southeastern Iowa, it’s at first difficult to tell what sets Kalona apart from countless… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Jan 26, 2017

Monopoly Un-Managed? Utility Tries to Dodge Oversight of Spendy Proposed Gas Plant

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/monopoly-un-managed-utility-tries-to-dodge-oversight-of-spendy-proposed-gas-plant/

Circumventing a decades-old pact providing a market monopoly in exchange for public oversight, an investor-owned utility has proposed legislation to allow it to build a new natural gas plant criticized for its financial and environmental impact, and then stick customers with the tab. Legislation supporting Xcel Energy’s billion-dollar plans cropped up earlier this month, three… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 17, 2017

Solar: Choice, Competition, and Clean Air

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/choice-competition-and-clean-air/

It’s simple to promote solar power as a money saver and clean alternative to fossil fuel generation. But it sells solar short to focus only on savings, when it also gives Americans the freedom to generate their own energy and to challenge the economic and political power of big corporations. Individual Freedom If individuals want… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 11, 2017

Broadly Sharing the Benefits of “Decarbonization”

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/broadly-sharing-the-benefits-of-decarbonization/

Last summer I saw a presentation on “deep decarbonization” that outlined necessary changes in the U.S. economy in order to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The presentation was fascinating, offering some very specific elements to focus our attention. For example, the following graphic shows the average number of replacements for various infrastructure types prior to… Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, Independent Business, The Public Good, Waste to Wealth | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Dec 29, 2016

The Year in Building Local Power – Episode 8 of the Building Local Power Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/the-year-in-building-local-power-episode-8-of-the-building-local-power-podcast/

In this episode, Chris Mitchell, the director of our Community Broadband Networks initiative, interviews a roundtable of ILSR staff members. Participants are: Olivia LaVecchia of the Community-Scaled Economies initiative, Karlee Weinmann of the Energy Democracy initiative, and Nick Stumo-Langer, ILSR’s Communication Manager. Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Dec 28, 2016

Energy Democracy, 2016 in Review

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/energy-democracy-2016-in-review/

While 2016 was a turbulent year in our government, the goals and values we hold at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and in the Energy Democracy initiative remain steadfast. Top Energy Posts of 2016 | Top Media Hits of 2016 | Top Twitter Posts of 2016 My colleagues and I have been promoting effective, bottom-up strategies… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Dec 26, 2016

New Year’s Resolutions for Electric Utilities, Happy 2017!

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/2017-electric-utility-resolutions/

The turn of the year is a perfect time for monopoly electric utilities nationwide to reflect on their substandard policies and embrace changes that will bring cleaner, more affordable energy to their customers. By finally committing to truly support distributed generation and renewables, these utilities can ensure their customers will have the choice and freedom… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Dec 20, 2016

Dear Santa…ILSR’s Federal Energy Policy Wish List

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/dear-santa-wish-list/

A new administration critical of clean energy imposes vast uncertainty on a U.S. energy sector that in recent years has tiptoed toward greater local control and increased renewable energy generation. This year, our federal policy wish list includes a series of items that would keep up the trend and deliver economic benefits to communities nationwide…. Continue reading