The Future of Solar Economics and Policy

Date: 30 May 2014 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 4 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Solar power is at a unique place in history. It’s growing rapidly, its price is falling precipitously. Within the next 10 years, it will compete favorably with utilities for electricity sales, on price, and without subsidies. Given its rapid ascent, … Read More

An Enormous Question for ‘Solar Choice’

Date: 9 Apr 2014 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 10 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Two weeks ago, Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission ratified the first-ever statewide policy for setting a fair and transparent price on solar energy. This week, a coalition of companies that provide leasing contracts for solar to home and business customers declared … Read More

Could Minnesota’s “Value of Solar” Make Everyone a Winner?

Date: 13 Mar 2014 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 7 Facebooktwitterredditmail

On Wednesday, Minnesota became the first state to allow utilities a new method of contracting with distributed solar producers, called the market-based “value of solar.” If adopted by utilities, it will fundamentally change the relationship between solar-producing customers and their … Read More

Utility Shocked to Find It’s Already Dead

Date: 13 Sep 2013 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 1 Facebooktwitterredditmail

There’s an increasingly shrill discussion among utilities (and from their own Edison Electric Institute) about the threat to their business from distributed energy, as their customers shift to getting their own power from local renewable resources.  Reports and news stories … Read More

Lessons from Minnesota – a Solar Success (Presentation)

Date: 16 Jul 2013 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

This presentation by Director of Democratic Energy John Farrell shows the politics, process, and policy that led to Minnesota becoming the 17th state with a solar or distributed renewable energy standard in 2013.  Delivered to a webinar audience of Oregonians … Read More

Positive Policy Changes for Distributed Renewable Energy

Date: 26 Jun 2013 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 1 Facebooktwitterredditmail

From outdated technical rules to local permitting to incentive policies, there are opportunities to increase the potential for local solar. This is the fourth of five parts of our Rooftop Revolution report being published in serial.  Read Part 1 or … Read More

Is Your Utility Ready? New Report Says Local Solar Could Power 10% of Country in 10 Years

Date: 2 Jan 2013 | posted in: Energy, Press Release | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Minneapolis, MN —Within a decade, more than 35 million buildings may be generating their own solar electricity (without subsidies) at prices lower than their utility offers, sufficient to power almost 10% of the country.

That’s the powerful headline from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s latest report, Commercial Rooftop Revolution. Despite the opportunity, utilities, regulators, and policy markers are largely unprepared for the surge of local solar power.

Read the report, view the interactive map, and more

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Colorado’s Community Solar Program Allots 9 MW in 30 Minutes

Date: 16 Aug 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 3 Facebooktwitterredditmail

When you subtract out shady roofs, renters, and other factors, only about 25% of Americans have a place to install solar power.  With the high upfront cost of a complete system, the potential solar universe shrinks further. That changes with … Read More

Net Metering a Cost to Utilities, or a Benefit?

Date: 11 Apr 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 1 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Update: A third-party study of net metering in California also found that solar customers provide more benefit than cost to the utility Utilities often claim that allowing customers to run their meter backward (by generating electricity on-site, e.g. from rooftop … Read More

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