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Back to the Future on Solar?
Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Energy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 18, 2012

1.21 Gigawatts!

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/1-21-gigawatts/

In the past five years, a new U.S. renewable energy policy has quietly grown more popular, enabling enough solar power (1.21 gigawatts!) to send Michael J. Fox “Back to the Future.” CLEAN programs – Clean Local Energy Accessible Now – have been adopted in 14 states and can significantly increase the deployment of local solar power, says a new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR). Continue reading

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by ILSR Admin | 7 Comments | Updated on May 21, 2012

Technological Complications of Energy Storage

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/technological-complications-energy-storage/

In the long run, there’s no avoiding energy storage for a 100% renewable energy society.  The two major sources of renewable power are wind and sun, and they are either fickle or reliably not available at night. The problem is that the simplest energy storage option for electricity is batteries, and this image from Wikipedia… Continue reading

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on May 14, 2012

Could Securitization Democratize Solar Power?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/securitization-democratize-solar-power/

After Wall Street popularized the term “mortgage-backed securities” in their destruction of the economy in 2008, you could be forgiven for thinking “solar securities” are a pyramid scheme.  But in truth, they may hold the key to democratizing the financing and the ownership of distributed renewable energy. Right now, financing solar typically means looking for… Continue reading

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on May 9, 2012

Map of State 3rd Party PPA Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/map-state-3rd-party-ppa-rules/

In lieu of smarter policy, schools, libraries, and city buildings hoping to install solar power have to resort to complex public-private partnerships to access federal tax incentives.  One common strategy is the power purchase agreement (PPA). In essence, a PPA allows the public building owner to buy solar electricity on contract from a third party… Continue reading

Solar parking lot canopy
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on May 8, 2012

Overturning the ‘15% Rule’ Expands the Distributed Generation Opportunity in California

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/overturning-15-rule-expands-distributed-generation-opportunity-california/

If you haven’t heard yet, there’s a “rule” that precludes distributed renewable energy projects from supplying more than 15% of the power to most “distribution circuits” (part of the low-voltage electric grid that brings power into homes and businesses).  With the rapidly falling cost of solar power, many places in the country are starting to… Continue reading

Balancing Lady
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on May 1, 2012

Local Solar Could Solve ‘Massive Supply-Demand Imbalance’ in Renewable Energy Financing

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/massive-supply-demand-imbalance-for-solar-and-wind-project-financing/

In the next two years, the U.S. may get a lot less solar and wind power than it could. It’s not a shortage of solar panels or the cost of turbines.  Rather, it’s a problem of the perverse nature of federal incentives for renewable energy.  Right now, the owner of a solar or wind energy… Continue reading

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Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Apr 26, 2012

Utilities Facing a Distributed Generation Future?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/utilities-facing-distributed-generation-future/

IntelligentUtility.com, April 26, 2012 Yesterday, I suggested that you meet John Farrell, who directs the Energy Self-Reliant States and Communities program at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. He focuses on energy policies that expand the benefits of local ownership of distributed generation, particularly renewable energy. That column, “Power Utilities’ Morphing Future,” got plenty of thoughtful… Continue reading

Value Chain of Local Ownership
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Apr 24, 2012

The More Local the Energy, the More Valuable

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/local-energy-valuable/

Local ownership of a wind project accounts for half of its lifetime economic value to the community!   From: Value Creation for Local Communities through Renewable Energies [pdf] Continue reading

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 20, 2012

Is Today’s Energy Policy “Saving the Buggy Whip”?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/todays-energy-policy-saving-buggy-whip/

The editor’s column from the March 2012 edition of Public Utilities Fortnightly describes how policy inertia can hamper distributed renewable energy development.  To illustrate, Michael T. Burr draws on the history of the automobile: When the first Model-Ts sputtered down the street, few people could’ve imagined the remarkable transformations they’d bring. Instead, they only saw… Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 16, 2012

Watch: Ontario’s Feed-in Tariff Program is a Good Investment

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/ontarios-feed-in-tariff-program-good-investment/

ILSR Senior Researcher John Farrell gave this presentation remotely to the Ontario Power Perspectives conference on April 16, 2012.  He was supposed to be there in person, but he forgot to renew his passport.  The presentation highlights how Ontario’s “buy local” rule, bonuses for community ownership and focus on distributed generation make their feed-in tariff… Continue reading