New power plant capacity expanded across the country in 2018, but steady growth in local, small-scale solar and other renewables was overshadowed by a significant jump in new gas plants. Our latest annual and quarterly updates illustrate these trends and provides a few timely examples of how communities can keep utilities accountable to clean energy commitments, rein in new centralized fossil fuel infrastructure, and support local, renewable energy, instead.… Read More
Roughly 5 gigawatts of new power generation capacity came online during the third quarter of 2018, as illustrated in a new quarterly update from ILSR’s Energy Democracy Initiative. Our updated chart of new power plant capacity illustrates how growth in natural gas capacity slowed, while new distributed solar and wind saw steady growth.… Read More
In our latest Local Energy Rules podcast, John Farrell joins leaders from Farmers Electric Cooperative in Iowa and Kit Carson Electric Cooperative in New Mexico, to discuss how rural areas can source their power locally and renewably. Rural electric co-op leaders Warren McKenna and Luis Reyes share from experience how local renewable energy provides win-wins for co-ops, member-owners, and their local economy.… Read More
A large amount of new power generation capacity was added during the second quarter of 2018, but not in the form renewable or distributed generation advocates might hope, according to the latest update from ILSR’s Energy Democracy Initiative. Our updated chart of new power plant capacity illustrates how growth in renewable energy is overshadowed by an increase in natural gas capacity and how distributed solar in particular stacks up.… Read More
Using the latest available national data on new power generation through the first quarter of 2018, this recent analysis from ILSR’s Energy Democracy Initiative illustrates how renewable energy and small-scale, distributed solar stack up against utility-scale and fossil fuel power plants in supplying the new electricity capacity for the nation.… Read More
The U.S. experienced relatively sluggish gains in total new power plant capacity in 2017, when compared to 2016, but it also saw another, more positive outcome: a notable surge in distributed solar. Using the latest available national data on power generation, this most recent look at data on annual and quarterly electricity generation nationwide from the Energy Democracy Initiative at ILSR illustrates how small-scale, distributed solar energy stacks up against its big, fossil fuel and utility-scale renewable energy competitors.… Read More
Compared with previous rankings of solar capacity, do states that allow third-party leases and power purchase agreements still dominate? The answer is yes, especially for distributed solar capacity. Every state in the top 10 in rooftop and small-scale solar still allows for third-party ownership.… Read More
The combination of falling prices and rising interest put rooftop solar on a strong trajectory. But even as solar goes mainstream, it’s tough for consumers to tell which installer, which panels, and which financing is right for them.
There has been little transparency in solar pricing, and consumers without technical expertise have a tough time shopping around. It’s a barrier to widespread solar adoption that gnaws at Vikram Aggarwal, and one he’s trying to fix through his online solar-shopping platform, EnergySage.
“The solar economics are so good that if you are a business owner today in America and you are not looking at solar, you are leaving good money on the table,” Aggarwal said. “In a number of states, if you’re a homeowner and you’re not considering solar, you are again leaving good money on the table.” … Read More
Nestled in the gently rolling hills of southeastern Iowa, it’s at first difficult to tell what sets Kalona apart from countless similar places on the Midwestern landscape. Small towns like these form the backbone of a region whose economy depends on a rich farming tradition, even well into the 21st century.
But Kalona’s charm doesn’t obscure the innovation that makes it a national leader in clean power generation. In this small community, where many Amish and Mennonite families shun electricity and cars, solar power has proliferated. In fact, the Kalona area is a surprising national leader in solar power generation.… Read More