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guy with knife and kid - flickr Ross Catrow v2
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 28, 2016

New Fossil Fuel Power Plants: Assets or Liabilities?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/new-fossil-fuel-power-plants-assets-or-liabilities/

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 owners). But as times change, “stranded assets” can be redefined and in the next few… Continue reading

randy wilson
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on Jan 13, 2016

Just How Democratic are Rural Electric Cooperatives?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/just-how-democratic-are-rural-electric-cooperatives/

Randy Wilson knew you had to start somewhere. Knocking on doors and hanging around retail store parking lots, he and volunteers from the citizen group Kentuckians for the Commonwealth collected signatures. After weeks of holding out clipboards, they collected the more than 500 signatures needed to run for the board of the Jackson Energy Cooperative… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 14, 2015

ILSR’s Distributed Solar Capacity Quarterly Update

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/ilsrs-distributed-solar-capacity-quarterly-update/

Renewable energy continues to dominate new power plant capacity and distributed generation has contributed an increasingly large share. We’ve been tracking this phenomenon since April of 2014, and, finally, the Energy Information Administration has recognized the prevalence of distributed solar and is going to report estimates of this added capacity in their monthly updates. This… Continue reading

virtual net metering 2015 ilsr 00001
Featured Article, Rule filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Nov 4, 2015

Updated: States Supporting Virtual Net Metering

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/virtual-net-metering/

Net metering is a common distributed renewable energy policy in the United States, allowing individuals to “turn back” their meter (and reduce their electric bill) by generating on-site electricity. But utility accounting systems typically prevent people from sharing the output from a single, common solar or wind project. Virtual (or group or neighborhood) net metering… Continue reading

Hawai'i at the Energy Crossroads
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 6, 2015

REPORT: Hawai’i at the Energy Crossroads

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/report-renewable-hawaii/

UNDER THE SPECTER OF A MAINLAND UTILITY TAKEOVER, ISLANDERS MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN A LEGACY OF LARGE CENTRALIZED POWER OR A BURGEONING NETWORK OF DISTRIBUTED ENERGY Matt Grimley and John Farrell October 2015 DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT Executive Summary On the one hand: Sky-high electricity prices. A 20th century electricity system burning fuel oil and controlled… Continue reading

solar surge in new power plant capacity
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Sep 11, 2015

Ever Greater Share of New Power from Distributed Solar

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/ever-greater-share-of-new-power-from-distributed-solar/

Second quarter data from the Energy Information Administration and the Solar Energy Industries Association came out this week and distributed solar continues its surging growth. Over 650 megawatts (MW) of new distributed solar capacity was grid connected between April and June, 10% of new power plant capacity. Even more impressive than the steady growth each… Continue reading

rainbow pooping unicorn 100pct renewable
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 28, 2015

100% Renewable Energy: Fact or Fantasy?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/100-renewable-energy-fact-or-fantasy/

What would it take to power the entire U.S. economy on renewable resources alone? Three big things: Only build wind, solar, or hydro power plants after 2020 Reduce energy use compared to business as usual by 40% Electrify everything It’s the last that may be the most complicated, since it means a complete overhaul of… Continue reading

big and small guys at bathroom urinal - flickr Glenn Bruynooghe
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 11, 2015

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Own ‘Em—Utilities Muscle in to Rooftop Solar Market

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/if-you-cant-beat-em-own-em-utilities-muscle-in-to-rooftop-solar-market/

In the past five years, rooftop solar has revealed the limitations of the archaic electric utility business model, as customers have found generating their own power more cost effective than taking 100% of their energy from the incumbent monopoly. For years, utilities have fought back by trying to make competition less cost effective, at a… Continue reading

solar home rooftop - flickr Tim Fuller
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 7, 2015

Two Decades of Solar Pioneers in Sacramento – Episode 27 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/two-decades-of-solar-pioneers-in-sacramento-episode-27-of-local-energy-rules/

The publicly-owned Sacramento Municipal Utility District, or SMUD, had already installed the first utility-scale PV array in the nation back in 1984. By the early 1990s, the utility saw a potential for rooftop solar and launched its PV Pioneer program, placing dozens of solar arrays on their customer’s rooftops, for a fee. The standardized rollout… Continue reading

solar calculator - flickr Derek Gavey
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on Aug 4, 2015

To Lease or To Own: Simplified Solar Calculator

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

Now simplified, the new solar lease calculator is here. Just enter in your zip code, electric utility, and solar array size. Then set the terms of your loan or lease to see how solar ownership stacks up against third-party options. Purchase (cash): Customer owns the PV system from day one, pays upfront with cash Purchase (loan): Customer… Continue reading