Same Price, More Renewables. San Diego’s Fight for Community Choice – Episode 23 of Local Energy Rules

Jay Owen Community Development Solutions, Greentech

An Island Utility Hinders Incredibly Cost-Effective Solar Power

Last week I shared a new podcast about the struggle for local energy in San Diego.  Residents of that city are trying to follow in the footsteps of Marin Clean Energy and Sonoma Clean Power to gain local control over their energy future.

Keep your energy local,

Same Price, More Renewables. San Diego’s Fight for Community Choice – Episode 23 of Local Energy Rules“San Diego and its community choice energy district would be able to offer a diverse energy mix with all of the solar, biodiesel, biogas, and energy storage resources that we have in San Diego.  A product that is price competitive and yet at the same time would strive for and achieve a higher level of…”


People cheering near solar panels (BlackRockSolar)

The Future of Solar Economics and PolicySolar 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, it might seem silly to talk about change.  But the continued expansion of distributed solar…


No more middlemen

Why is an Island Electric Utility Hindering Incredibly Cost-Effective Solar?

The Northern Mariana Islands are one of several island U.S. territories, lying three-quarters of the way from Hawai’i to the Philippines. Like most islands, their electricity supply has been almost entirely supplied by diesel-fueled generators, at enormous cost. So why have islanders in the Marianas – such as the residents of Saipan – been struggling…


Midwest Solar Market: Hot or Not?Is solar ready to boom in the Midwest, or does poor policy still stand in the way? This presentation by Institute for Local Self-Reliance Director of Democratic Energy john farrell to the Midwest Solar Expo on May 16, 2014, explores the potential, the economics, and the policy needed to help solar power the Midwest.



Citizen Ownership Remains Foundation of German Renewable Energy ExplosionI’ve been posting updates on local ownership of renewable energy in germany since early 2011, and it’s abundantly clear that the Germans have yet to back down from their commitment to democratic, locally owned power. The following chart continues the series.  For explanation, click the previous link, but know that traditional electric utilities are contained…


KC Doyle

A Deep Dive on Value of Solar and the Future of Solar Energy – Episode 22 of Local Energy Rules“Utility regulation and rates is a contact sport,” says Karl Rabago, and that makes the implementation of a new “value of solar” policy complex. Will distributed solar grow better with a transparent, value-based contract price? How does it differ from net metering? Is Minnesota’s law a precedent to follow? Prepare yourself for a deep dive…


Democratic Energy on Tour

Staff from the Democratic Energy initiative (me) speak at events around the country. Check out the upcoming and past events on ILSR’s speakers page, or see if you’re on the list below:

August 2014 – On the internets
john farrell will reprise his presentation on the value of solar.  Keep an eye out for an invite!

May 29, 2014 – On the internets
John Farrell hosted a webinar on the value of solar policy and its implications for community-based solar.  Over 60 people tuned in to the presentation, which will be posted soon on the Energy Self-Reliant States blog.

May 16, 2014 – Minneapolis, MN
John Farrell presented Midwest Solar Market: Hot or Not? at the Midwest Solar Expo.

May 8, 2014 – Talk Solar podcast
John Farrell joined Beth Bond of Speaking of Green to talk about the state of solar and likely how Minnesota’s new value of solar mixes with other policies to make a brighter solar future: listen in.

May 7, 2014 – This Week In Energy podcast (11 AM CDT)
John Farrell joined host Bob Tregilus to talk about Value of Solar, Solar Leasing & Energy Democracy: listen in.

March 12, 2014 – Alexandria, MN
John Farrell presented on how democratic energy fits the rural electric philosophy at Electrons on the Run, a mini-conference on the future of the U.S. energy system at Alexandria Technical and Community College.

February 1, 2014 – Kansas City, MO
John Farrell was a special guest speaker at the Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association annual conference, and his presentation, Show Me Solar, received rave reviews.

January 18, 2014 – Northfield, MN
John Farrell participated in a city-wide Climate Summit and presented on Local Climate Solutions.

November 8, 2013 – Decorah, IA
John Farrell presented to the opening plenary session the 5th Conference of the Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability at Luther College, speaking about the intersection of campus sustainability and the shift toward communities taking control of their energy future.  View the presentation and read the remarks.

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The Institute for Local Self-Reliance launched the Energy Self-Reliant States blog in 2010 to provide in-depth analysis of distributed renewable energy issues, often in a visual format for the average citizen.

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