The Future of Solar Economics and Policy

Date: 30 May 2014 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 4 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Solar power is at a unique place in history. It’s growing rapidly, its price is falling precipitously. Within the next 10 years, it will compete favorably with utilities for electricity sales, on price, and without subsidies. Given its rapid ascent, it might seem silly to talk about change.  But the continued expansion of distributed solar power … Read More

A Perfect Storm for Renewables – Episode 18 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Date: 21 Mar 2014 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States, Podcast | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The Hawaiian utility, made local when the investor-owned utility left the business a decade ago, is surging toward 40% renewable energy in the next year, with a third of that total from customer-generated solar. Half its daytime energy will come from solar arrays by the end of 2015.

Learn more about how a cooperative utility has blown past purported technical barriers to renewable energy and pioneered energy storage to make solar a prominent part of their energy mix in this interview with Jan, recorded via Skype on Feb 25, 2014.… Read More

Five Reasons Solar’s Win Over Gas in Minnesota is Just the Beginning

Date: 28 Feb 2014 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Solar advocates were popping corks when a New Year’s Eve ruling by an administrative law judge in Minnesota said that distributed solar arrays were a more cost-effective resource than natural gas to meet Xcel Energy’s peak power needs. The energy media were aflutter for weeks, but many missed the bigger significance. If solar trumps gas for … Read More

Show Me Solar: Parity, Value, and Opportunity for Solar Power

Date: 4 Feb 2014 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 1 Facebooktwitterredditmail

What can solar power do for a single state? How about 21% of its energy, $14 billion in economic activity, and over 150,000 jobs. At a discount to existing electricity costs. Without subsidies. ILSR’s Director of Democratic Energy, John Farrell, shared this message with the Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association on Feb. 1, 2014 in Kansas … Read More

Natural Gas isn’t a Bridge Fuel, it’s a Gateway Drug

Date: 30 Jan 2014 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 2 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In his State of the Union, President Obama added to the conventional wisdom that supplanting coal with natural gas will act as a bridge toward a climate solution. Unfortunately, gas is more of a gateway drug than a bridge to a clean energy future. 1) It’s still a major greenhouse gas.  Sure, natural gas is cleaner … Read More

Rooftop Revolution – Appendix

Date: 21 Jan 2014 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

This wraps up the serialized edition of our residential Rooftop Revolution report.  Read the whole report in short segments below, or download the report and other resources. Part 1 – The Coming Solar Electricity Transformation Part 2 – Solar Costs and Grid Prices On a Collision Course Part 3 – The Solar Opportunity Part 4 – … Read More

Watch: On WCCO, ILSR Director of Democratic Energy Discusses Xcel Energy Rate Hike

Date: 16 Dec 2013 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States, Media Coverage | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

“They need some more support from the Legislature in having a critical eye,” said John Farrell, of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. “I think the laws that they operate under don’t give them a lot of flexibility to question…the base assumptions that Xcel is bringing to the table.” Check out the 2-minute video clip  

Debating the Value of Solar – Pt. 2 of Minnesota’s Process

Date: 8 Oct 2013 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

It was an unseasonably sunny day for part two of Minnesota’s value of solar stakeholder process: participation day. The leadoff was the Department of Commerce’s proposed approach to a value of solar methodology.  Shown below, it set some broad principles the Department intends to use in the value of solar formula it develops:     Accuracy … Read More

Setting the Value of Solar – Part 1 of Minnesota’s Process

Date: 27 Sep 2013 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 1 Facebooktwitterredditmail

What is solar worth to a utility? It’s an issue of national debate, but one unexpected state – Minnesota – is engaging a formal process for determining the methodology for setting the value of solar. As the first multi-utility process, it’s likely to set a precedent nationwide for what the “value of solar” will mean and … Read More

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