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
How did one group of neighbors from Washington, D.C., band together to advance clean energy locally and then build a larger movement replicating their model elsewhere? In the latest episode from the Local Energy Rules podcast archive, John Farrell, Director of ILSR’s Energy Democracy Initiative, revisits a 2013 interview with Anya Schoolman, the major force behind a unique, grassroots solar cooperative model that has since grown into Solar United Neighbors, now a national leader in distributed, cooperative solar. The two discuss effective ways to invest in solar energy and advocate for local policies to support distributed energy from the ground up—strategies as relevant in 2013 as they are today.… Read More
Andy Johnson works with the soil. When younger, he served in Peace Corps in Central America for three years, working on conservation practices. Then he worked in the Natural Resource Conservation Service for years, the same agency that his father Paul Johnson headed by appointment from Bill Clinton in 1993. After moving back to northeast Iowa in 2007, he started farming christmas trees and grass-fed beef cows, but thinking about how the concept of conservation applied to his community’s energy use and economy.… Read More
At the beginning of June 2015, ILSR released its Public Rooftop Revolution report, which described how cities across the nation put the shine on municipal rooftops with more than 5,000 MW of solar. That 5,000 MW is as much as one-quarter of all solar installed in the U.S. to date — and many cities could install … Read More
Can one state lead the way for others in sound, smart energy policy? New York is setting the stage. This week, Mother Jones, and others talked to John about getting what we want from the utility of the future. (Hint: utilities may soon be waiting-in-the-wings!) Read more stories from this week, below. New York Just Showed … Read More
The first-in-the-nation city-utility partnership has been framed in Minneapolis, but can the city and its utilities really deliver substantive movement toward an equitable energy economy in the next two years?
It all depends on the workplan, and the grassroots team at Minneapolis Energy Options has delivered.… Read More
Solar and wind projects can mean big bucks for communities – but only if they keep them local!
Why does ownership of renewable energy matter? Because the number of jobs and economic returns for communities are substantially higher when electricity generation from wind and sun can be captured by local hands.… Read More
With the rich history of cost overruns in the nuclear industry, Xcel Energy and Minnesota regulators probably shouldn’t have been surprised when the retrofit cost to the Monticello nuclear power plant ballooned to more than twice the original estimate late last year. Regulators are asking tough questions about whether the cost overruns are the responsibility of … Read More
Late last week, Minnesota regulators made a decision that may finally allow community solar projects to move forward (for Xcel Energy customers) in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. However, the Public Utilities Commission decision also highlighted the shortcomings of the legislature’s distributed solar policy adopted in 2013. What was missing? Minnesota’s increasingly well-known “value of solar” … Read More