Solar Costs and Grid Prices On a Collision Course

Date: 4 Apr 2013 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 1 Facebooktwitterredditmail

With the cost of solar continuing to fall rapidly (50% in the past five years) and electricity prices rising steadily, if slowly, the approach of solar grid parity is near. The following chart illustrates the trajectory of solar cost and electricity price, hinting at the coming intersection. 1 The chart compares the cost of a residential … Read More

The Coming Solar Electricity Transformation

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

Solar cells are unusual in that they were cost-competitive from the get-go. From the Apollo space program to highway signs to lighting for buoys, solar could replace highly expensive power from batteries or other sources and eliminate the need for the construction of electric distribution lines.1 When the Institute for Local Self-Reliance was founded in 1974, … Read More

Three Unequal Options for Local Energy Control

Date: 28 Feb 2013 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

If we ignore self-generation, three policies are at the center of increasing local control of energy: deregulation (“customer choice”), municipal aggregation (“city choice”), and municipal utilities (“city ownership”).  Two recent articles highlight the relative value of these policies quite clearly. The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) of Illinois, a nonprofit ratepayer advocacy organization, just released a report … Read More

Germany Has More Solar Power Because Everyone Wins

Date: 8 Feb 2013 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 7 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Suddenly everyone knows about Germany’s solar power dominance because Fox Newsheads made an ass of themselves, suggesting that the country is a sunny, tropical paradise.  Most media folks have figured out that there are some monster differences in policy (e.g. a feed-in tariff), but then latch on to the “Germans pay a lot extra” meme.  Germans … Read More

Utility “Gets Ready” for More Local Energy in Hawai’i

Date: 5 Feb 2013 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Hawai’an solar advocates are celebrating this week after the island state’s largest utility, Hawai’ian Electric (HECO) filed a plan with the public utility commission to take a “proactive approach” to adding more distributed solar to their grid system. Utilities across the country typically use “conservative blanket limits” on the amount of renewable energy allowed on local … Read More

Report: Rooftop Revolution Resources

Date: 14 Dec 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

By 2022, over 38 million homes and businesses could get solar power from their own rooftop, pay less for electricity, without any subsidies for solar. The first two reports, published in 2012, outline the growth potential for local solar power and the coming rooftop revolution. The 3rd edition, published in 2015, looks at the more than … Read More

Community-Owned Transmission?

Date: 15 Nov 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The enormous growth in local renewable energy is decentralizing the electricity system, often supplanting energy from centralized power plants.  But not all renewable energy is built locally, even in a country like Germany with massive local ownership of its renewable energy systems.  The Germans are undergoing significant upgrades to their electricity grid as they push 25% … Read More

Finding Value in Distributed Generation, Before it Finds You

Date: 9 Nov 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 2 Facebooktwitterredditmail

ILSR Senior Researcher John Farrell is giving this presentation to a collaborative meeting of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the National Association of Regulatory Commissioners (NARUC) this weekend.  It highlights the proven value of distributed solar to utility grid systems and the urgent need for regulators and utilities to incorporate this value into their … Read More

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