Report: Rooftop Revolution – Changing Everything with Cost-Effective Local Solar

Date: 21 Mar 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 2 Facebooktwitterredditmail

With the cost of solar power plunging and retail electric prices rising, 100 million Americans in the nation’s largest cities will be able to “go solar” for a lower price than grid electricity in the next ten years. Seizing this opportunity requires rethinking electricity policy and planning even while solar produces less than 1% of the … Read More

New Report: Rooftop Revolution Changes Everything with Cost-Effective Local Solar

Date: 21 Mar 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States, Press Release | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Within ten years, 100 million Americans in the nation’s largest cities will be able to get cheaper electricity from rooftop solar than their utility provides. That’s just the opening salvo from a new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. “Rooftop Revolution: Changing Everything with Cost-Effective Solar,” not only illustrates the enormous, emerging potential for local solar power, but also describes how the rules of the electricity system must change now for the electricity system to be ready for the decade’s energy democracy opportunity.… Read More

Minnesota Electricity Could Be 100% Renewable, 100% Local

Date: 13 Mar 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

A new report released today by the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research shows that Minnesota can meet 100% of its electricity needs with in-state wind and solar power, and (with ample energy efficiency investments) at a comparable cost to its existing electricity supply. The notion that solar and wind energy cannot be the mainstay of … Read More

Why “Passive Activities” May Be Clean Energy’s Biggest Hurdle

Date: 12 Mar 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

If you care about the future of the American renewable energy industry, you need to learn what the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) calls “passive activities.”  Because these important rules mean that as long as the U.S. relies on the tax code to provide renewable energy incentives, renewable energy can only grow as fast as Wall Street … Read More

Refundable Federal Tax Credit Could Remove Barrier to Community Wind

Date: 8 Mar 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 1 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Update 3/9/12:Turns out I would be a lousy tax attorney and that the form of tax credit does not affect the passive loss rules. What if a small change in federal renewable energy policy could make community wind development easier? Last month, President Obama’s Treasury Department released proposed reforms to a number of business taxes including … Read More

Get a Local Clean Energy Future by Trading-in the 20th Century Electric Grid

Date: 27 Feb 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In a New York Times SundayReview piece last week – Drawing the Line at Power Lines – Elisabeth Rosenthal suggested that our desire for clean energy will require significant tradeoffs: There are pipelines, trains, trucks and high-voltage transmission lines. None of them are pretty, and all have environmental drawbacks. But if you want to drive your … Read More

Distributed Generation Hits Sweet Spot in Cost v. Transmission

Date: 24 Feb 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Update 3/27/12: added clarification to text and chart that prices include federal tax incentives If the cost of electricity were the only factor in energy discussions, we’d probably have a lot more coal and a lot less renewable energy.  But the truth is that renewable energy can compete on cost and distributed renewable energy has a … Read More

German Policy Could Make Solar in America “Wunderbar”

Date: 23 Feb 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

This post was originally titled Residential Solar for $2.24 per Watt in Germany? The Germans are debating significant revisions to their landmark renewable energy policy, and instead of declaring the death of the German solar market, Americans should focus on why solar still costs so much on this side of the Atlantic. After a significant step-down … Read More

Citizens Make an Example of Minnesota “Community Wind” Project

Date: 23 Feb 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Community wind promises to expand the economic opportunity of transitioning the electricity system to cleaner energy, and engage local communities.  Unfortunately, there’s “community wind” and community wind, as one Minnesota project starkly illustrates. Goodhue Wind was first envisioned as a “community wind” project by National Wind in 2008 as a 78 megawatt (MW) wind power plant … Read More

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