In this episode of the Local Energy Rules podcast, host John Farrell speaks with Jessie Denver of East Bay Community Energy. Farrell and Denver discuss how distributed energy resources can prepare communities for disaster — and increase resilience after it hits.… Read More
For this episode of the Local Energy Rules Podcast, host John Farrell speaks with David Bissell, CEO of Kauai Island Utility Cooperative. The two talk about the utility’s renewable energy achievement, the challenges of operating a utility on an island, and how Kauai provides a “postcard from the future” for other U.S. utilities.… Read More
In this episode of the Local Energy Rules podcast, John Farrell interviews Lena Entin about an inspiring and successful community-driven campaign in Holyoke, Mass., to shut down an aging coal plant operated by one of the world’s largest multinational electric utility companies. The two discuss the campaign’s efforts to replace the dirty plant with clean energy to improve health outcomes for the community and provide a just transition for the power plant’s workers.… Read More
In an October 2018 op-ed featured in PV Magazine, John Farrell, ILSR Co-Director and Director of the Energy Democracy Initiative, argues how important shifts in both technology and decision-making are transforming the energy sector.… Read More
For 100 years, most decisions about the U.S. electric grid have been made at the top by electric utilities, public regulators, and grid operators. That era has ended, and our report details how the collective impact of individual consumers installing solar-plus-storage reverses the flow of power on the electricity grid.… Read More
Energy storage is the “next charge” for distributed renewable energy, and the small town of Minster, OH, provides a powerful illustration. Committed to building a 3-megawatt (AC) solar facility, the village’s energy department (municipal utility) was blindsided by the state … Read More
The Hawaiian utility, made local when the investor-owned utility left the business a decade ago, is surging toward 40% renewable energy in the next year, with a third of that total from customer-generated solar. Half its daytime energy will come from solar arrays by the end of 2015.
Learn more about how a cooperative utility has blown past purported technical barriers to renewable energy and pioneered energy storage to make solar a prominent part of their energy mix in this interview with Jan, recorded via Skype on Feb 25, 2014.… Read More
In the long run, there’s no avoiding energy storage for a 100% renewable energy society. The two major sources of renewable power are wind and sun, and they are either fickle or reliably not available at night. The problem is … Read More
I just came across an interesting interview that radio host Diane Rehm did with Jeremy Rifkin, author of The Third Industrial Revolution. The excerpts below lay out his vision for an energy future that is decentralized and democratized. (He also notes that this vision has just emerged in the past two to four years, but we’ve been around since 1974…).
The book is organized around five pillars of the third industrial revolution:
Pillar one, renewable energy. Pillar two, your buildings become your own power plants. Pillar three, you have to store it with hydrogen. And then Pillar four…the internet communication revolution completely merges with new distributing energies to create a nervous system…Pillar five is electric plug-in transport…
when distributed Internet communication starts to organize distributed energies, we have a very powerful third industrial revolution that could change everything…
You can find some renewable energy in every square inch of the world. So how do we collect them? … If renewable energies are found in every square inch of the world in some frequency or proportion, why would we only collect them in a few central points? …
[it] jump starts the European economy, that’s the idea. Millions and millions and millions of jobs. Thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises have to convert 190 million buildings to power plants over the next 40 years…
That’s the vision: a decentralized energy system can be democratized with local ownership, spreading the production of energy and the economic benefits as widely as the renewable energy resource itself.