Utility Proposes Electric Vehicle Charging Pilot, But Will Anyone Opt In for No Benefit?

Date: 1 Mar 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

A Minnesota utility proposes a new program allowing electric vehicle owners to charge their vehicles at night for a lower price, but monthly maintenance fees mean drivers won’t save any money. ILSR provides comments to the state’s Public Utilities Commission illustrating the problem and proposing a solution.… Read More

Paying Utilities for Performance

Date: 22 Dec 2017 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In most states with regulated, monopoly utilities, utilities are compensation based on two factors: energy sales and a return on capital spent, such as when they build a new power plant. In comments filed in late December, 2017, ILSR provides some context for basing utility compensation for its shareholders on actual performance.… Read More

Dumb and Dumber: Looking Beyond the Department of Energy’s Flawed “Baseload” Study

Date: 24 Aug 2017 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Earlier this summer, the U.S. Department of Energy commissioned a study purportedly about grid reliability. In reality, it’s more likely the study is a fishing expedition searching for ways to buttress fossil fuel contributors to and allies of the Trump administration — folks squeezed by competition from less costly wind and solar power.… Read More

New Year’s Resolutions for Electric Utilities, Happy 2017!

Date: 26 Dec 2016 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The turn of the year is a perfect time for monopoly electric utilities nationwide to reflect on their substandard policies and embrace changes that will bring cleaner, more affordable energy to their customers. By finally committing to truly support distributed … Read More

Why is Green Pricing a Premium When Wind Power is Cheap?

Date: 3 Jun 2016 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Ten years ago, a North Dakota cooperative stopped charging customers a premium for getting energy from the wind, because they found it wasn’t costing anything extra. The cooperative, like many utilities, used a “green pricing” program that allowed customers to … Read More

Why Going Local Makes Sense for the Clean Energy Transition

Date: 20 May 2016 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

This is a response to a Forbes commentary published last week, by Steve Cicala In his commentary last week, Steve Cicala fell into a common trap for economists analyzing the electricity system. Touting what economics calls competitive advantage, Mr Cicala … Read More

New Fossil Fuel Power Plants: Assets or Liabilities?

Date: 28 Jan 2016 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In any conversation about the transition to a renewable energy economy, solar and wind advocates will eventually come up against the term “stranded assets.” It’s a misleading term, usually deployed in defense of legacy fossil fuel power plants (and their … Read More

A Plan B for Every Monopoly Electric Utility?

Date: 28 Oct 2015 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Electric companies seemingly face a business “death spiral” because the 20th century rules for the electric grid make it a challenge to address stagnant energy demand and competition from energy-producing customers. The result is a utility-funded war on solar and … Read More

Did FERC Just Smash the Biggest Roadblock to Clean, Local Power for Electric Co-ops?

Date: 28 Sep 2015 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Because they only sell 11% of the country’s electricity and they largely overlap politically conservative areas, electric cooperatives are often the forgotten stepchild of the clean energy movement. But with 7 of the top 10 dirtiest power systems (as measured by … Read More

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