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.

Utility “Gets Ready” for More Local Energy in Hawai’i

Hawai’an solar advocates are celebrating after the island state’s largest utility, Hawai’ian Electric (HECO) filed a plan with the public utility commission to take a “proactive approach” to adding more distributed solar to their grid …

Cloudy Days for a Washington-State Community Solar Effort

The Backbone Campaign’s community solar project was motivated by a generous production incentive offered in Washington State for solar projects installed on public property.  Campaign organizer Bill Moyer and many residents of King County, WA, …

Solar cooperative gets panels on 1 in 10 roofs in Mt. Pleasant neighborhood of DC

What began as a group of neighbors hoping to reduce their impact on global warming has since become a major force for solar advocacy in Washington, DC. The Mount Pleasant Solar Cooperative was started by …

Two Ways Americans May Get More Ownership of their Energy Future

Three years ago, the prospects for Americans to own their energy future seemed relatively bleak.   There were almost no replicable models for doing community-based energy projects or investment, despite falling costs and technology – solar …

Community-Owned Transmission?

The enormous growth in local renewable energy is decentralizing the electricity system, often supplanting energy from centralized power plants.  But not all renewable energy is built locally, even in a country like Germany with massive …

Clean Break Inspires Americans to Pursue “Energy Change”

Renewable energy journalist Osha Gray Davidson recently released a book called Clean Break, detailing the German Energiewende (translation: energy change).  It’s a story of how the Germans systematically shifted to clean energy, finding as they …

300 Reasons Utilities Should Do These 3 Things For Distributed Solar

In the next decade, over 300 gigawatts of unsubsidized solar energy could be deployed across the United States, generating electricity for the same or less than retail electricity prices.  But many utilities remain blissfully unaware …

How a City Can Get More Clean, Local Energy

Like many cities attempting to solve climate change at a local level, Minneapolis is finding the prospect more challenging that it may have imagined.  The lion’s share of emissions (two-thirds in the case of Minneapolis) …

Climate & Energy

Germany has more solar power because everyone wins

Here's the real reason for solar's big success in cloudy Deutschland.

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