Barriers to Distributed Renewable Energy

Date: 9 Oct 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 1 Facebooktwitterredditmail

A presentation by ILSR Senior Researcher John Farrell to a Disaster Law class at William Mitchell Law School on 9/17/12.  It examines the five major barriers to the expansion of community-based and conventional distributed renewable energy, including the tradition of utility control, raising capital, cash flow, legal, and utilities themselves.  View the presentation below: Barriers to Distributed … Read More

Watch: Boulder Mayor Tells Minneapolis How They Sought Clean Energy Options

Date: 1 Oct 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 2 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In this video, Mayor Susan Osborne of Boulder, Colo., presents to an audience in Minneapolis, Minn., about why her city opted to take over the electric company, after years of futile negotiations for more local renewable energy.… Read More

Taller Wind Turbines Boost State Energy Self-Reliance

Date: 11 Sep 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 2 Facebooktwitterredditmail

A story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune today highlights the increasingly common use of 100 meter wind turbines for new wind power projects, up from the previous 80 meter standard.  The technological change grabs more wind energy, with consistently higher wind speeds at higher altitudes, meaning states can get even more power from a similar number … Read More

Minnesota’s First Community Solar Project is Minnesota-Made

Date: 7 Sep 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 13 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Update 12/20/12: This project includes battery storage. Just last month, the Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association, serving communities just north and west of the Twin Cities metropolitan area, announced Minnesota’s first community solar project.  The 40 kW solar array will be located at the cooperative’s headquarters, with members allowed to purchase individual panels in the project for … Read More

Hawaii Drives Past Solar Power Cost Barrier, Surprised by Additional Roadblocks

Date: 30 Jul 2012 | posted in: Energy, Press Release | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The report finds that while the economics of solar continue to improve, a number of unexpected barriers have arisen. Homes often need electrical upgrades and local governments struggle to keep up with permit requests. Utilities are also reluctant to give up their market dominance, enforcing antiquated rules about grid interconnection that can add significant expense, delay, or even kill projects entirely.… Read More

U.S. Wind Project Size

Date: 24 Jul 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Big dreams for renewable energy often goad people into imagining big wind projects, with hundreds of turbines.  But lots of smaller projects are just as likely to add up to big numbers. Counting wind projects from 1999-2010 (based on data from LBNL’s excellent Wind Technologies Market report) the average size of an American wind project is … Read More

Local Energy Choice with Community Choice Aggregation

Date: 17 Jul 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Local Energy Choice with Community Choice Aggregation from John Farrell   A presentation by ILSR Senior Researcher John Farrell to the National Strategy Meeting of the Local Energy Aggregation Network (February 2012) on the potential for community choice aggregation policy to increase local clean energy development.  For more on this policy, you may also like our … Read More

Energy Independence or Clean Energy Self-Reliance?

Date: 4 Jul 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 3 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Update August 7, 2012: I’d like to this this qualifies as Friedman’s response to this column. In Thomas Friedman’s latest column, he praises Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts because he “took one for the country.”  Friedman sees that “America today is poised for a great renewal” if only it can get some “big, centrist, statesmanlike … Read More

Four Charts Provide Distributed Solar Lessons from California

Date: 27 Jun 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 1 Facebooktwitterredditmail

A new study for the California Public Utilities Commission explores the “Technical Potential for Local Distributed Photovoltaics in California.”  Basically, it’s one of the more in-depth analyses of local solar power in the country, suggesting that California has the capacity to add 15 gigawatts (GW) of local solar (20 megawatts and smaller) to its grid by … Read More

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