John Farrell's Comments

July 12, 2013

Another Banner Year for California Rooftop Solar as Successful Rebate Program Winds Down

If demand is strong without a rebate, why waste taxpayer money? Sounds like they've done what they need to hit that target - establish a robust market where people can take control of their own energy future by affordably investing in solar energy.

March 25, 2013

Two Ways Americans May Get More Ownership of Their Energy Future


That's a misstatement on my part. 75% of households do not have a suitable rooftop for solar power. They rent, they live in shade, etc...

January 31, 2013

Why Boulder Has to Buy Out Electric Utility for a Clean Energy Future


No, it's true that the vote was contentious and so is the ongoing process. But I think it's important to note (from the story you linked to) that Xcel is only willing to deal when the city stop exploring its options. They want a captive audience, which is why I think the city has to keep contemplating giving them the boot, even if they haven't officially yet.

October 19, 2012

What Is the Most Economical U.S. Wind Project Size?

When I originally did the research in mid-2011, that new data wasn't released. I stand corrected.


July 25, 2012

Could Securitization Democratize Solar Power?

@Anonymous - I wrote that wrong. The simplicity and value of the FIT contracts and the participation of the KfW bank has provided low cost financing opportunities not available in the U.S.

June 25, 2012

Who Has the Most Cost-Effective Solar FiT Program?

@ThePhoenixSun Great questions. CLEAN programs in the U.S. are largely like Germany's, where you get the price for ALL energy production, not just for on-site consumption (this is not net metering). There were a couple exceptions (one Indiana program and the Iowa one). A comparative map would be great. I didn't include it in the report, but here it is:

February 16, 2012

How Distributed Solar Can Reduce Electricity Prices

Foiled by the European convention with using periods as a thousands separator. I fixed that glaring error in Germany's solar output. Apologies!

February 01, 2012

Hourly Electricity Pricing Boosts Value of Distributed Solar by 33 Percent


You're right, I did misunderstand the tiers. And my misunderstanding led to a drastic underestimate of the value of solar under PG&E's TOU plan. Update here:

January 20, 2012

Solar Getting Cheaper, But Not Equally

Thanks for all the recommendations about the log scale. I'm not going to replace it in the post, because I'm not convinced that the accuracy is worth the potential loss of accessibility. But for you log scale loving nerds, here's the log scale version:

January 13, 2012

Solar Grid Parity 101


I pretty much use NREL's PVWatts for estimating output. For Los Angeles, for example, that's about 1500 kWh AC for every DC kW of capacity. I also include panel degradation of 0.5% per year.

January 13, 2012

Solar Grid Parity 101


Two thoughts. First, with solar leasing and other 3rd party arrangements, solar can be more costly than grid power as long as the lease/PPA has an escalator that is forecast to be lower than grid power inflation.

And second, it's not always purely an economic decision. Or folks may be willing to expect longer than a 25-year project life...

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,...

Total Access Partners

Growing Your Business? Learn More about Total Access