Energy Self-Reliant States Weekly: 5 Barriers to and Solutions for Community Renewable Energy

Jay OwenGreen Prosperity

I spent last week preparing for the release of my report on Ontario’s Feed-in Tariff programnext Monday (“Expect Delays – Reviewing Ontario’s ‘Buy Local’ Renewable Energy Program”) and spent much of the week working on the passage of a solar energy standard in Minnesota (it passed the House the week prior and the Senate last week and is now in conference committee.  The governor will sign whatever comes out.).

If you need some cool graphics for your Monday morning, check out this package of persuasive visuals defending the solar energy legislation from every angle.



5 Barriers to and Solutions for Community Renewable Energy

Community renewable energy has significant political and economic benefits, but is often hindered by five major barriers. Watch this vividly illustrated presentation to learn how communities can overcome the barriers and advance more local renewable energy. ILSR Senior Researcher John Farrell gave this presentation as part of a Sustainable Economies Law Center webinar on April…


Soft Costs Make a Bigger Difference as Solar Gets CheapLast week’s graphic on the impact of local permitting on the cost of solar power was a big hit, so here’s a follow up on “soft costs,” the expenses in a solar installation (including permitting) that are not the solar module.  The chart compares the soft costs in the U.S. to Germany (thanks to LBNL’s…


Local Permitting Makes a Bigger Difference as Solar Gets Cheap

Going solar keeps getting cheaper, but most of the cost savings have come from less expensive solar panels.  “Soft costs,” like permitting and inspections, are a rising share of the cost of a solar installation.  Several years ago, these permits could increase the cost of a residential solar project (then around $8.00 per Watt) by…


Florida City a World Leader in Solar: Episode 8 of Local Energy Rules Podcast“It’s the only time I’ve done a rate increase when nobody was opposed,” says Ed Regan of the Gainesville utility’s feed-in tariff for solar power.  The program, launched in 2009, has resulted in nearly 15 megawatts of new, local solar energy generation on or near buildings in the northeast Florida town, enough to make it…


Minnesota’s Proposed Solar Standard in ComparisonSome Minnesota legislators are getting a little weak-kneed listening to utility lobbyists make hugely ironic claims about the cost of the proposed solar standard and thinking about how much solar this is. Time for some context. The originally proposed 10% solar energy standard might have been ambitious by national standards, but the current 4% by…


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