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 coming solar electricity transformation

Solar cells are unusual in that they were cost-competitive from the get-go. From the Apollo space program to highway signs to lighting for buoys, solar could replace highly expensive power from batteries or other sources …

Why Master Limited Partnerships are a Lousy Policy for Solar, Wind, and Taxpayers

If you follow the renewable energy industry and haven’t been sleeping, then you’ve probably heard about one of the few pieces of federal legislation purported to help clean energy that’s actually moving: expanding Master Limited …

Minnesota’s New (Standard Offer) Solar Energy Standard

A friend at Fresh Energy generously called me the “architect” of Minnesota’s new solar energy standard (signed last week), and although that may be a bit generous, I’d like to provide a detailed description of …

Susan Osborne Explains Why Boulder Opted for a Clean Energy Takeover

The process started in 2003 when Boulder resumed studying the option to create a municipal utility.  With a climate-action plan already in place, and a local carbon tax already financing conservation and clean energy, the …

8 Vivid Charts – 8 Reasons for a Solar Energy Standard in Minnesota

A conference committee is resolving differences between House and (much weaker) Senate versions of a solar energy standard in Minnesota today. Here’s 8 graphic reasons why the state should go for solar as aggressively as …

The Making of a New Midwestern Solar Energy Standard

Last week, a solar energy standard moved one step closer to passage in the Minnesota state legislature, with an innovative new approach to financing solar power.  It’s a powerful first step for what would be …

Farmer- and family-owned wind power rises in Iowa

Iowa ranks third in installed wind power capacity in the U.S., it’s 5,500 megawatts behind only Texas and California (and much higher per capita).  But like many windy places, the turbines sprouting from the Iowa …

Three Unequal Choices for a Local (Renewable) Energy Future

Earth Day highlights the need for a sustainable energy future, and experience suggests that there are only three meaningful choices for communities trying to increase local control of a greener energy future.  But the three …

From soybeans to solar – a community energy project sprouts from Wisconsin fields

Just north of Delavan, Wisconsin, is Dan Osborne’s nursery farm. Where you once found a bean field now sit 80 solar panels on 100 tracking towers, generating renewable power for over 125 homes. It’s a …

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