Local Utilities Have Lost Local Control

This post made possible by the tireless efforts of ILSR intern Abbigail Feola. She dug up the data, identified the story worth sharing, and wrote the following piece below.

ILSR’s Distributed Solar Capacity Quarterly Update (2016 Q1)

Solar made up over a half of the added power plant capacity during the first quarter of 2016. With over 800 MW (AC) coming from distributed solar, this year is shaping up to be another banner year for renewable energy.

Maryland Scores 3 out of 4 on Principles for a Good Community Solar Program

placeholderMaryland is the latest state to adopt a community solar program, and a review of the program rules shows that the state is serious about getting community solar right. It meets at least 3 of the 4 principles for a good program from our Beyond Sharing report on community renewable energy.

Energy Democracy Media Roundup – June 13

This week in Energy Democracy news:

An Atlantic reporter explores how (easily) solar panels are installed, Madison adopts a carbon emissions plan, and Boulder city officials discuss municipalization with Xcel Energy.

Featured Stories

Madison adopts plan to cut carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050 by Kari Lydersen, Midwest Energy News

Presentation: Re-Member-ing the Electric Cooperative

placeholderIn March of 2016, we published a report on the state of rural electric cooperatives in the current electricity market: Re-Member-ing the Electric Cooperative. Below you will find our newly developed presentation based on this report.

To Lease or To Own Your Solar Array (Infographic)

placeholderIs owning your solar array your best option, or is leasing right for you? Along with our existing Solar Calculators (both complex and simplified), we have this new infographic.

Chattanooga Was a Typical Post-Industrial City. Then It Began Offering Municipal Broadband.

The Nation, June 3, 2016

Downtown Chattanooga looks like a lot of post-industrial cities: wide streets, a mix of old brick buildings and uninspired 60s-era brutalism. Except there’s something here that many small downtowns do without these days: people. And many of them are here not just for the usual accouterments of your average gentrified downtown—fancy restaurants, condos, and concert venues (though those do exist here), but for something more basic, and arguably much more important: the Internet.


Why is Green Pricing a Premium When Wind Power is Cheap?

Ten years ago, a North Dakota cooperative stopped charging customers a premium for getting energy from the wind, because they found it wasn’t costing anything extra. The cooperative, like many utilities, used a “green pricing” program that allowed customers to voluntarily pay more to get their energy solely from renewable resources.

2016 Election – Energy Policies at the Ballot

Citizen-sponsored ballot initiatives frequently demand progress on renewable energy implementation (and have for years), oftentimes when state legislatures show little to no political will to increase locally-owned solar or wind energy. In 2016, more states than ever before placed items on their ballots to change the energy landscape.

Video: Break the Chains, Build Local Power

placeholderSince our founding in 1974, we have worked to rewrite the rules and empower communities to choose their own future. Across several vital economic sectors, we help break the corporate stranglehold that extracts wealth from local economies and undermines democracy.

We give communities the tools to build a strong local economy themselves.