Release: Solar and Energy Storage Threatens Utility Business Models, Enables Energy Democracy

Date: 17 Jul 2018 | posted in: Press Release | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

What happens to an electric utility when its big bets on new power plants are undercut by customers producing their own power from solar and storing it in cost-effective batteries?

Hundreds of utility power plants could become stranded assets if electric customers pursue these affordable alternatives to utility provided power, undercutting a century of the traditional “bigger is better” electric utility business model. The latest report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance details how battery storage literally and figuratively reverses the grid’s power flow and puts customers in charge. It offers policymakers, utilities, and individuals a roadmap of rules to capture this opportunity for energy democracy and save everyone money.… Read More

Reverse Power Flow: How Solar+Batteries Shift Electric Grid Decision Making from Utilities to Consumers

Date: 17 Jul 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

For 100 years, most decisions about the U.S. electric grid have been made at the top by electric utilities, public regulators, and grid operators. That era has ended, and our report details how the collective impact of individual consumers installing solar-plus-storage reverses the flow of power on the electricity grid.… Read More

Webinar: Shifting Power from Utilities to Consumers via Solar Plus Batteries

Date: 6 Jul 2018 | posted in: Energy | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The webinar –– Wednesday, July 18th @ 2 p.m. CT –– will cover the powerful upending of the electricity market structure on the doorstep, the implications for centrally planned power systems, and the policies that align market rules with the democratizing power of solar and energy storage.… Read More

Video: Minnesota SEIA — Gateway to Solar Presentation

Date: 15 Jan 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In September of 2017, ILSR Energy Democracy initiative director John Farrell spoke in front of the Minnesota Solar Energy Industry Association’s Midwest Gateway to Solar event. In his talk he spoke about the importance of sound renewable energy policies that enable growth in locally-owned solar energy and how massive electric utilities are doing their best to harm locally-owned renewable energy like solar.… 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

Zero is the Hero: Zero Net Energy Buildings Reach New Communities, Promising Savings, and Renewable Energy

Date: 2 Aug 2017 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

As energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies continue to improve both functionally and economically, Zero Net Energy (ZNE) buildings are spreading in communities around the country. The energy savings and environmental benefits of ZNE buildings, which produce as much energy … Read More

Should Energy Storage Share the Tax Credits for Renewable Energy?

Date: 15 Aug 2016 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In May of 2016, the U.S. Representative from Silicon Valley, Mike Honda (D), introduced the Energy Storage for Grid Resilience and Modernization Act (H.R. 5350). In short, this bill extends the current 30% Renewable Energy Tax Credit (which was just … Read More

Pursuing Grid Modernization in a Monopoly Model

Date: 25 Mar 2016 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

How can a state modernize its electric system when it’s in the hands of vertically integrated monopolies? We offer some thoughts via its comments on a Grid Modernization docket being reviewed by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. Background: the grid … Read More

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