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  • Federal tax credits may handcuff clean energy development

    This post originally appeared on Energy Self-Reliant States, a resource of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s New Rules Project. Clean energy advocates should cast aside their worries about increasing Republican scrutiny of energy subsidies.  The clean energy industry’s foolish reliance on tax incentives has already handcuffed its expansion. Unlike the leading nations in the clean […]

  • Bigger subsidies make bigger solar a bad bet

    This post originally appeared on Energy Self-Reliant States, a resource of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s New Rules Project. Americans seem unable to resist big things, and solar power plants are no exception. There may be no reasoning with an affinity for all things “super sized,” but the economics of large scale solar projects (and […]

  • Here comes the sun – the chart Paul Krugman left out

    This post originally appeared on Energy Self-Reliant States, a resource of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s New Rules Project. Nobel economist Paul Krugman made waves last month when his column “Here Comes the Sun” noted that the rapidly falling cost of solar electricity – “prices adjusted for inflation falling around 7 percent a year” – […]

  • Group purchase gets residential solar to grid parity in Los Angeles

    This post originally appeared on Energy Self-Reliant States, a resource of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s New Rules Project. Back for a second round, the Open Neighborhoods organization in Los Angeles has organized another group purchase of residential and commercial solar PV, bringing the lifetime cost of solar well under the cost of grid electricity […]

  • Solar for Schools? Not so easy with tax-based solar incentives

    You’re a city manager hoping to cut electricity costs at sewage treatment plant, a school administrator looking to power schools with solar, or a state park official needing an off-grid solar array for a remote ranger station. But unlike any private home or business, you can’t get 50% off using the federal tax incentives for […]

  • America and Germany Getting Their Clean Energy Just Desserts

    Germany is the unquestioned world leader in renewable energy.  By mid-2011, the European nation generated over 20 percent of its electricity from wind and solar power alone, and had created over 400,000 jobs in the industry. The sweet German success is no accident, however, and the following pie chart illustrates the results of a carefully […]

  • 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 System The electricity grid system has become host to a distributed generation phenomenon that has developed in a largely hostile […]

  • Why we should democratize the electricity system – part 4

    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. Roadblocks to Distributed, Local Renewable Energy Despite technology’s march toward more efficient and distributed energy production, there’s a substantial tension between the decentralized opportunity and the institutional and policy inertia […]

  • Cooperative South Dakota wind farm nets 600 local owners

    This post originally appeared on Energy Self-Reliant States, a resource of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s New Rules Project. With the right renewable energy policy, hundreds of individuals can have a stake in a renewable energy future.  That’s what happened with a cooperatively-owned wind project in South Dakota, where 7 turbines from a larger wind project […]