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Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Sep 21, 2017

Electric Vehicles Use Local Power to Cut Pollution and Driving Costs – Episode 29 of the Building Local Power Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/electric-vehicles-episode-29-of-the-building-local-power-podcast/

Electric vehicles are enabling energy democracy.

That’s the takeaway from the latest Building Local Power podcast episode, a discussion between guest host and Communications Manager Nick Stumo-Langer, Energy Democracy initiative director John Farrell, and Energy Democracy initiative researcher Karlee Weinmann. The conversation features a number of topics, including: the trajectory electric vehicles hold in renewable energy technology, generally; the ways that cities in the wake of recent hurricanes can rebuild to better weather the storms thanks to energy resiliency; and how residents of cities, large and small, can pressure their communities to enact better policies. Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Sep 11, 2017

Get Charged Up About Drive Electric Week

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/national-drive-electric-week-2017/

Electric vehicle sales are surging, and the trend shows no signs of stopping — particularly as the battery technology that powers them enables longer trips and comes at a lower cost. The first electric cars hit the market more than 100 years ago, but this time, there’s plenty of reasons to believe they’re not only… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 24, 2017

Dumb and Dumber: Looking Beyond the Department of Energy’s Flawed “Baseload” Study

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/dumb-and-dumber-beyond-doe-baseload-study/

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. Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matthew Douglas-May | No Comments | Updated on Aug 2, 2017

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

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/zero-is-the-hero/

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 using on-site renewables as they consume, are catching the attention of city leaders, regulators, and… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jul 24, 2017

Three Forces Fighting Local Renewable Energy and Three Ways to Fight Back

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/3-forces-fighting-local-renewable-energy/

If you’re reading energy news of late, you might have come across three new ways that forces are aligning against local renewable energy. State governments are increasingly pre-empting local authority on a range of issues, including energy. Utility companies are undercutting state regulation with their legislative lobbyists. And utilities are also bringing their monopoly market power to bear in previously competitive markets.

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Jul 13, 2017

Local Solar Power: Red Plus Blue Makes a Green Tea Party – Episode 24 of the Building Local Power Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/local-solar-power-episode-24-of-the-building-local-power-podcast/

In this week’s episode of Building Local Power we interview Debbie Dooley, President of Conservatives for Energy Freedom and co-founder of the Green Tea Coalition in the southern United States. Dooley’s organizations promote “consumer choice in the energy field” to “provide competition” and stop monopolies from limiting their customer’s options in renewable energy. The Green… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Jul 12, 2017

Slow-to-Accelerate EV Charging Program Provides Lessons for Improvement

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/xcel-energy-ev-charging-minnesota/

Minnesota’s largest investor-owned utility, Xcel Energy, last month reported sparse participation in a program designed to deliver value to customers who charge their electric vehicles when it’s most convenient for the grid. But despite its benefits for the grid and cost savings for customers, the initiative appears stuck in neutral.

By April 2017, a year and a half after its launch, just 95 Xcel customers had opted in to the state-mandated electric vehicle charging tariff. With nearly 1,000 plug-in vehicles registered to Minnesota drivers — a bulk of them likely in Xcel’s metro-area territory — participation numbers hover well below reasonable expectations. Why? Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 28, 2017

Reminder: The Fight for 100 Percent Renewable is Political

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/reminder-the-fight-for-100-percent-renewable-is-political/

As an increasing number of cities across the U.S. pledge their commitment to purchase 100% of their power from renewable sources in the coming decades, some researchers questioned the feasibility of such energy policies. One recent 100% study takes the position that it is impractical for the continental U.S. to commit to 100% water, wind,… Continue reading

Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 7, 2017

Report: Choosing the Electric Avenue – Unlocking Savings, Emissions Reductions, and Community Benefits of Electric Vehicles

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/report-electric-vehicles/

The U.S. vehicle market will undergo a massive technology disruption from electric vehicles in the coming decades. Many analysts see the potential for surging sales of these efficient vehicles to enable smart grid management, but few have explored the local impact of electric vehicles: promoting energy democracy. Electric vehicles offer a natural use for solar energy, a pathway to pump more local solar power onto the grid, and a source of resilient power when the grid goes down. Ultimately, electric vehicles are another tool to miniaturize the electricity system, providing unprecedented local control.

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 2, 2017

How States and Cities Can Unlock Local Clean Energy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/how-states-and-cities-can-unlock-local-clean-energy/

Yesterday’s news about the Paris Climate Accords has provoked a groundswell of commitments for local action on climate change. But what can cities actually do in the absence of federal support? A lot. In fact, with the help of states, cities have many avenues to boost their economies and drive down energy costs with local… Continue reading