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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 3 Comments | Updated on Aug 16, 2012

Colorado’s Community Solar Program Allots 9 MW in 30 Minutes

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/colorados-community-solar-program-allots-9-mw-30-minutes/

When you subtract out shady roofs, renters, and other factors, only about 25% of Americans have a place to install solar power.  With the high upfront cost of a complete system, the potential solar universe shrinks further. That changes with “community solar.” After a long wait on the state’s Public Utilities Commission to finalize the… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 7 Comments | Updated on Jul 10, 2012

Why We Pay Double for Solar in America (But Won’t Forever)

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/why-pay-double-solar-america/

Update 12/21/12: Corrected chart.  Overhead and Sales Tax had been switched in the German data column. I often get flak when I publish research on the cost trajectory for solar (e.g. my Rooftop Revolution report estimates 100 million Americans reaching grid parity by 2021).  About half think I’m too conservative, and half think I’m too… Continue reading

Solar Shifts Peak Demand for the Electric Grid
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Jun 27, 2012

Four Charts Provide Distributed Solar Lessons from California

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/charts-provide-distributed-solar-lessons-california/

A new study for the California Public Utilities Commission explores the “Technical Potential for Local Distributed Photovoltaics in California.”  Basically, it’s one of the more in-depth analyses of local solar power in the country, suggesting that California has the capacity to add 15 gigawatts (GW) of local solar (20 megawatts and smaller) to its grid… Continue reading

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