John Farrell

John Farrell is the author of Energy Self-Reliant States and a senior researcher at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, where he focuses on renewable energy policy.

Solar Power

Solar panels under power lines could be a major electricity source

Moving toward renewable energy won't require massive solar projects. We could get 20 percent of our power just from solar panels under power lines.

New small hydro could add significantly to state renewable power

Over at Climate Progress, Stephen Lacey recently asked why there isn’t more development of micro hydro in the U.S., given its potential to provide more than 30,000 low-cost megawatts of power to U.S. states (and …

Utility fights dirty in city's battle for clean local energy

In just three weeks, citizens of Boulder, Colo., will vote on whether to begin a big, formal process to unplug from Xcel Energy’s system and plug into local energy self-reliance. The vote to form a …

SolarShare bonds let citizens make money by financing local solar

You’re an earth-friendly person and want to go solar, but a large tree shades your house; or you’re a renter; or you don’t have $20,000 to drop on a solar power system. Or maybe you …

Solar Power

Local solar could power the Mountain West right now, all of America in 2026

If the U.S. had kept pace with German solar installation, we'd be on our way to being a 100 percent solar-powered nation.

Can cash payments win over wind farm opponents?

This post originally appeared on Energy Self-Reliant States, a resource of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s New Rules Project. A 50-turbine wind farm in Goodhue County in southeastern Minnesota has met with stiff local resistance, …

Does energy storage compensate for water-thirsty concentrating solar thermal power?

This post originally appeared on Energy Self-Reliant States, a resource of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s New Rules Project. Concentrating solar thermal power has promised big additions to renewable energy production with the additional benefit …

German small solar cheaper than big U.S. solar

This post originally appeared on Energy Self-Reliant States, a resource of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s New Rules Project. The U.S. has a hodge-podge of utility, state, and federal tax-based incentives. The Germans have a …

Overcoming the roadblocks to democratizing the electricity system – part 5 of 5

A serialized version of ILSR‘s new report, Democratizing the Electricity System, Part 4 of 5. Click for Part 1 or Part 2 or Part 3 or Part 4. Overcoming the Roadblocks to Democratizing the Electricity …

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