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 system. Utilities across the country …

  • 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, hoped to keep more energy …

  • 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 teenage boys who wanted …

  • 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 and wind – that lend …

  • 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 local ownership of its renewable …

  • 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 proceeded that the possibilities were …

  • 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 of the coming solar storm …

  • 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) come from electricity and gas …

  • Germany has more solar power because everyone wins

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