John Farrell's Blog Posts

- March 26, 2015

Lifting State Limits on Local Power

In the first half of 2014, distributed local solar power constituted over 25 percent of new power plant capacity. This impressive growth continues several years where solar power has...

- March 17, 2015

Small Solar Surging: 13 Percent of New US Power Plant Capacity in 2014

The growth of solar has continued at a furious pace, with a new record of 6.2 gigawatts installed in the United States in 2014. But the bigger tale may be the persistent growth of small-scale...

- March 10, 2015

Is Energy Efficiency the More Persistent Threat to Utilities?

While local renewable energy and energy efficiency are both proving to be near-existential threats to electric utilities in the early 21st century, the trends aren’t the same. The rapid...

- March 04, 2015

Can a State's Solar Market Start Without It?

In about half of U.S. states, an individual or business can have solar installed on their roof owned by someone else, and either buy the power or lease the array from that third party....

- February 27, 2015

Are Utilities or States the Leaders in Renewable Energy and Efficiency?

A June 2014 study by Ceres highlighted the top electric utilities for renewable energy and efficiency. In an article discussing the findings, Utility Dive suggested that there are “wide...

- February 19, 2015

We Have “Value for Solar,” But Should We Use It?

Earlier this year, Minnesota became the first state to formalize dozens of studies by adopting a "value of solar" formula that would fundamentally change the relationship between solar...

- February 11, 2015

Solar Power Can Spark a New Energy Economy

I spent three days last fall with some of the biggest minds behind the “new economy” movement, noting how their core theme — economic democracy — is hand in hand with ILSR’s work on...

- February 05, 2015

Big, Expensive Power Plants Undermine a Clean Energy Future

With the rich history of cost overruns in the nuclear industry, Xcel Energy and Minnesota regulators shouldn’t have been surprised when the retrofit cost for the Monticello nuclear...

- January 28, 2015

Can Utility Regulators Provide Leadership on Distributed Renewable Energy?

If you’re like most renewable energy advocates that have interacted with a Public Utilities Commission, you probably don’t think they’re a repository of progressive policy toward distributed...

- January 21, 2015

Solar as an Energy Equity Solution

For over 100 years, the American economy has been fueled by enormous expansion of fossil fuel energy. It has emitted a disproportionate share of its environmental impact (too much)...

John Farrell

John Farrell

John Farrell directs the Energy Self-Reliant States and Communities program at ILSR and he focuses on energy policy developments that best expand the benefits of local ownership and dispersed generation of renewable energy. His latest paper,...

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