Q&A: New Report Challenges Assumption that Bigger Solar is Better

Midwest Energy News – October 17, 2016

by Frank Jossi

In a time when hundreds of megawatts of large solar projects are underway in Minnesota, a new report suggests that smaller-scale solar projects could be just as good at delivering low-cost electricity.

Co-op Power Puts Localist Spin on Clean Energy Economy

placeholderNew England is well known for pacesetter legislation that has made it a clean power leader, but the region also boasts a showpiece example of community-scale coordination — separate from the action in statehouses and city halls — that taps into renewables to buoy local economies.

Energy Democracy Media Roundup – week of October 17, 2016

This week in Energy Democracy news:

An analysis of Germany’s customer-centric energy revolution, a Q&A around our latest report, and regulators fighting back against solar fees across the country.

Featured Stories

Distributed Generation Under Fire (2015) by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

In Florida’s Fight for Renewables, New Co-op Network Eyes Solar

placeholderA simmering fight to keep renewables out of Florida’s energy mix is approaching a boiling point in November, underscoring the need for smarter energy policies and easier solar access  offered by Florida Solar United Neighborhoods.

Further Thoughts on the Economics of Losing the Federal Solar Tax Credit

Amid the discussion over ending the federal solar tax credit in 2015, I published an analysis of the less-than-expected hit to residential solar costs.

I made a big mistake. Instead of a 2.5% cost increase, the impact of the expired tax credit would be closer to 13.3%. But a revised and deeper investigation also shows our perverse reliance on tax incentives inflates the cost of solar by 20% or more.

Short-Sighted Utility Stymies Solar in Milwaukee

placeholderBack in 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy recognized Milwaukee as a budding leader in the movement to promote solar power at the local level. Nearly a decade later, the city’s success in promoting solar remains handcuffed by an investor-owned utility fighting progress in favor of the status quo.

In Maryland, Community Solar Pioneers Offer Blueprint

placeholderA pair of rooftop solar arrays in Maryland spotlight how pioneering communities can pool their resources to expand local access to renewable energy. These “community solar” projects are an increasingly popular approach as electricity customers renounce utilities’ reliance on fossil fuel and look for ways to cut their energy costs.

San Diego Sets Vision, Vets Options for 100% Renewables

placeholderLate last year, San Diego set a landmark goal that made it the largest U.S. city to target a 100% renewable electricity mix over the next two decades. But as the pact’s first anniversary approaches, big questions loom over how exactly San Diego will hit the ambitious benchmark.

Energy Democracy Media Roundup – week of October 3, 2016

This week in Energy Democracy news:

A Q&A with Detroit energy/climate activists, the state of energy policies at the ballot in 2016, and praising South Sioux City, NE for their diverse renewable energy portfolio.

Featured Stories:

Not just illegal, targeting solar facilities with fees is also poor policy by John Farrell, CleanTechnica