A citizen-led effort to establish in a city-run electric utility in the small northeast Iowa community of Decorah is picking up steam, with advocates — including some local officials — forecasting significant local economic growth powered by the transition. Decorah, with about 8,000 residents, is tucked in the northwest corner of Iowa just south of… Continue reading
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A 40-year-old federal law has a new life in promoting a competitive U.S. clean energy market because of falling costs for wind and solar. But despite its lofty potential, the policy remains trapped between regulatory obstacles and utility resistance — forcing communities across the country to leave significant economic benefits on the table. The Public… Continue reading
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
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.” Continue reading
An innovative group purchasing program in Boulder County, Colorado, put hundreds of electric vehicles on local roads and sparked the addition of more than 1 megawatt of rooftop solar in its first two years. Now, the initiative is a springboard for efforts nationwide to allow consumers to seize control of their clean energy future. The… Continue reading
Fast-improving technology and growing consumer interest continue to put momentum behind the clean energy transition. Unlike utilities and other industry players that have largely ignored growth opportunities as market dynamics shift, a coalition of independent solar companies is harnessing its combined power to command more influence in the marketplace. Amicus Solar Cooperative formed in Colorado… Continue reading
In recent months, a raft of cities and states pushed up their renewable energy targets to 50%, 80%, or even 100%. But how will that energy be delivered? Will it be from the top down, by merchant wind and solar power plants? Or from the bottom up, by customers producing their own power? The answer… Continue reading
It’s hard to imagine a place more bucolic than the rural farming communities clustered around Kalona, Iowa — the kind of place that for generations has embodied conservative, blue-collar values woven throughout rural America. Nestled in the gently rolling hills of southeastern Iowa, it’s at first difficult to tell what sets Kalona apart from countless… Continue reading
This is an update of analysis done back in June, state-by-state information has been updated, however, conclusions have largely been left the same, see the original post here. Citizen-sponsored ballot initiatives frequently demand progress on renewable energy implementation (and have for years), oftentimes these occur when state legislatures show little to no political will to increase locally-owned… Continue reading
Back in 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy recognized Milwaukee as a budding leader in the movement to promote solar power at the local level. Nearly a decade later, the city’s success in promoting solar remains handcuffed by an investor-owned utility fighting progress in favor of the status quo. This is part of a series… Continue reading