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

Amazon’s New Path to Monopoly Is Through Your Local Government (Episode 50)

Date: 12 Jul 2018 | posted in: Building Local Power, Podcast | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

ILSR’s Communications Manager Nick Stumo-Langer is joined by researchers Stacy Mitchell and Olivia LaVecchia to discuss their new report detailing Amazon’s new thrust into local government procurement and their attempts to capture every aspect of the economy.… Read More

The Huge Supreme Court Cases You May Have Missed (Episode 49)

Date: 28 Jun 2018 | posted in: Building Local Power, Podcast | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Guest host Nick Stumo-Langer and ILSR co-director Stacy Mitchell discuss two recent Supreme Court cases that have vast implications for the state of our economy and the role of the court as a centralized entity in ILSR’s decentralized worldview.… Read More

Washington State Island Community Gains Connectivity from Local Provider

Date: 26 Jun 2018 | posted in: MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The San Juan Islands cluster in the most northwest tip of Washington state, off the coast of the cities of Bellingham and Anacortes, and just spitting distance from the Canadian border. Hitching a ride on a ferry boat is the only way to access this remote but beautiful chain. A little more than a third of the residents of the 20 islands are seasonal, and the islands’ median age is 55 years old, according to Rock Island Communications. Visitors and residents alike experience the rough weather, thick Douglas fir overgrowth, and rocky terrain one would expect from the Pacific Northwest coast. These environs make for beautiful vistas – the islands are considered a vacation destination – but less than ideal conditions for high speed Internet access.… Read More

New York Solar Bill Encourages Distributed Energy Market to Stay on Target

Date: 22 Jun 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In the New York solar version of this space epic, the Alliance’s X-wing fighters have scrambled to advance Assembly Bill 10474. It’s the only hope to stop VaDER—Value of Distributed Energy Resources–a tool once intended to transition the state’s solar market to version 2.0, but one that incumbent electric utilities have successfully turned to a dark purpose: quashing the ability of New York residents to go solar together.… Read More

California Bill Aims to Reduce Rural Broadband Barriers

Date: 15 Jun 2018 | posted in: MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In response to the FCC’s decision to end federal network neutrality protections, California and other states have introduced bills to fill the gap left by the Commission. Local communities who had flirted with the idea of publicly owned Internet infrastructure in the past have now taken a second and more serious look to counteract the FCC’s harmful policy shift. … Read More

Innovation in Small Town America (Episode 48)

Date: 14 Jun 2018 | posted in: Building Local Power, Podcast | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Three of our researchers (Christopher Mitchell, John Farrell, & Brenda Platt) sit down together to discuss how small cities across America are innovating in the ways they are supporting their local economies. Mitchell discusses this innovation in Idaho; Farrell details the discussions in Decorah, Iowa; and Platt portrays many different home composting programs.… Read More

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