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.

The Democratizing Promise of Energy Storage

While energy storage is a small fraction of total power generation capacity, promising examples suggest that distributed energy storage could change the electricity system during …

Better Building Codes Save Bundles [Chart]

How much money could you and your neighbors save on energy? That depends a lot on the building code, which states (and sometimes cities) can …

Could Minnesota’s “Value of Solar” Make Everyone a Winner?

On Wednesday, Minnesota became the first state to allow utilities a new method of contracting with distributed solar producers, called the market-based “value of solar.” …

Can a Novel City-Utility Partnership Green a Big City Grid?

In pursuit of a cleaner energy future last August, the city of Minneapolis came to the brink of putting a city-owned utility on the ballot. …

Five Reasons Solar’s Win Over Gas in Minnesota is Just the Beginning

Solar advocates were popping corks when a New Year’s Eve ruling by an administrative law judge in Minnesota said that distributed solar arrays were a …

Are Electric Utilities Already Dead?

For the last six months, the energy news sphere (perhaps led by the Edison Electric Institute) has been rife with a discussion about the threat …

The #1 Solar Utility is in…Iowa?

It may be one of the oldest cooperative utilities in the country, but in the next six months, Farmers Electric Cooperative (FEC) of southeastern Iowa …

Natural Gas isn’t a Bridge Fuel, it’s a Gateway Drug

In his State of the Union, President Obama added to the conventional wisdom that supplanting coal with natural gas will act as a bridge toward …

Who’s Your Energy Daddy?

For now it remains large, investor-owned utilities, and ostensibly locally-focused rural cooperatives and municipal utilities. But the energy landscape of today gives me uncomfortable reminders …