Report: Federal Barriers Are Limiting Renewable Energy Ownership Opportunities

Date: 10 Apr 2008 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

A typical 2 megawatt wind turbine provides enough electricity for around 600 average American homes. So why is it nearly impossible for those same 600 households to pool their resources and own a wind turbine?

A new policy brief by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) shows how removing two barriers to owning and investing in renewable energy projects can pave the way for true energy independence.

"Current federal law discriminates against people owning their own power plants," says John Farrell, author of the policy brief. "The federal tax incentive is unavailable for the average person, and security regulations make local ownership difficult."

A bill by Representative Tim Walz (D-MN), H.R. 2691, addresses part of the tax problem by making the federal tax incentive for wind power available to up to a third of all Americans.

"Removing this barrier to energy ownership makes smaller projects more accessible to the local community, and draws local investors back into the process," says Farrell. "Plus, ownership brings more economic benefits to a community than an absentee firm putting up a turbine."

The full report, Broadening Wind Energy Ownership by Changing Federal Incentives, is available online at:

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John Farrell

John Farrell directs the Energy Democracy initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and he develops tools that allow communities to take charge of their energy future, and pursue the maximum economic benefits of the transition to 100% renewable power.