How did one group of neighbors from Washington, D.C., band together to advance clean energy locally and then build a larger movement replicating their model elsewhere? In the latest episode from the Local Energy Rules podcast archive, John Farrell, Director of ILSR’s Energy Democracy Initiative, revisits a 2013 interview with Anya Schoolman, the major force behind a unique, grassroots solar cooperative model that has since grown into Solar United Neighbors, now a national leader in distributed, cooperative solar. The two discuss effective ways to invest in solar energy and advocate for local policies to support distributed energy from the ground up—strategies as relevant in 2013 as they are today.… Read More
What can a town do to advance clean energy locally if it is fed up with its incumbent, investor-owned monopoly utility? In the latest episode of the Local Energy Rules podcast, John Farrell, Director of ILSR’s Energy Democracy Initiative, interviews Andy Johnson and Joel Zook, community members and local energy leaders from Decorah Power, about an upcoming ballot initiative in Decorah, Iowa, and the culmination of an organized, grassroots effort by residents to take back local control of their electric utility and energy future. In a midterm election year, this is one vote that those who care about local, clean energy will not want to miss.… Read More
What can a small city do to advance clean energy locally, if its state commissioners and legislators are not willing to take their jobs regulating monopoly electric utilities seriously? John Farrell interviews Philip Stoddard, the pioneering, fourth-term mayor of South Miami, Florida, who has been sticking up to the state’s incumbent utility, in order to make the state live up to its billing as the Sunshine State.… Read More
In October 2017, John Farrell gave a keynote address to the annual meeting and expo of AERO, a Montana organization with a similar mission of empowering communities to promote a sustainable economy. He addressed the widespread opportunity for clean energy in Montana, the shared desire of communities to capture that growing economic opportunity, and three ways communities can get started.… Read More
Featuring insights from ILSR’s 2017 report on electric vehicles, Nick Stumo-Langer interviews ILSR energy staff John Farrell and Karlee Weinmann about the opportunities that come with widespread vehicle electrification and the barriers that remain despite significant economic and environmental benefits.… 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
Electric and autonomous vehicle technology supports the change, said Popham, whose city-owned utility is a leader in conservation and renewable energy. He recently spoke with John Farrell, head of the Energy Democracy Initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, about changes already in motion and what’s yet to come.… Read More
The Boulder County program’s financial benefits for the community far outpaced its costs, Brad Smith, the county’s Sustainability Outreach and Education Specialist, recently told ILSR’s John Farrell. The county spent just $650 on marketing and outreach, a minuscule price for the gains it has seen.… Read More
That’s exactly what entrepreneur and lecturer Tony Seba argues in his book, Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation. His multi-pronged predictions include: all new energy will be provided by solar or wind, all new mass-market vehicles will be electric, and all of these vehicles will be self-driving or semi-autonomous — by 2030, or maybe sooner.
Seba explained his breathtaking vision in a recent conversation with John Farrell, who leads the Energy Democracy Initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. He pointed to a series of factors, including falling energy storage costs and fast-moving innovation in the auto and renewables industries, that he says will reinvent day-to-day life in America.… Read More