Report: Seeing the Light – Regaining Control of Our Electricity System

Date: 17 Apr 2001 | posted in: Energy | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The California energy crisis is not simply about a lack of electricity it is about who owns the production and distribution of that electricity. As state after state agrees to deregulation, the utility industry is approaching a concentration not seen since the Power Trust of the 1930s. Seeing the Light urges us to change the rules now and create a future that includes affordable, locally-owned electricity. The book chronicles hopeful new developments and reminds us that the best way to prevent another crisis is to build a better system.… Read More

Democratizing the Electric System

Date: 25 Feb 2001 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Inthe beginning, before there were giant utilities and high voltage transmission lines, and state and federal regulatory agencies and rolling blackouts, companies didn’t sell electricity. They sold power plants. By 1883, the Edison Electric Illuminating Company (later General Electric) had installed 334 power plants inside cotton mills, grain elevators, manufacturing plants, newspapers and theaters.

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Be Your Own Power Company

Date: 5 Nov 1983 | posted in: Energy | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

This book by David Morris (first published in 1983) was the first how-to book published after Congress ended the 100-year-old monopoly by utilities on the generation of power.  The book examines the technical and economic aspects of four small scale power technologies (photovoltaics, wind power, hydropower and onsite cogeneration) and offers advice on how to negotiate a contract for sale of on-site power to local utilities.… Read More

Self-Reliant Cities – Energy and the Transformation of Urban America

Date: 17 Apr 1982 | posted in: Energy, From the Desk of David Morris, The Public Good | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The first half of this book discusses the century-long struggle by cities to gain autonomy and authority from state governments and create their own planning and service delivery capacities. The second part describes the first urban-based localization movements. Given the relevance of the book to current localist efforts, we’ve written a new foreword that traces the local energy initiatives after the 75 percent plunge in oil prices after 1982 and the coming to power of a new administration hostile to renewable energy.… Read More

Decentralized Photovoltaics

Date: 17 Apr 1980 | posted in: Energy | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The Congressional Office of Technology Assessment invited the Institute for Local Self-Reliance to evaluate the comparative economics rooftop solar arrays and the solar powered satellites (SPS) proposed by NASA that would beam power generated in space back to earth.  The report concluded, "If decentralized applications achieve the same array efficiency as those projected for SPS arrays, and if buildings are designed to maximize photovoltaic potential, the residential sector can meet all its energy demands from rooftop arrays, and have enough electricity left over to operate family vehicles, or to export into the grid system."… Read More

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