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Thanks to Co-op, Small Iowa Town Goes Big On Solar

It’s hard to imagine a place more bucolic than the rural farming communities clustered around Kalona, Iowa — the kind of place that for generations has embodied conservative, blue-collar values woven throughout rural America.

Nestled in the gently rolling hills of southeastern Iowa, it’s at first difficult to tell what sets Kalona apart from countless similar places on the Midwestern landscape. Small towns like these form the backbone of a region whose economy depends on a rich farming tradition, even well into the 21st century.

Monopoly Un-Managed? Utility Tries to Dodge Oversight of Spendy Proposed Gas Plant

Circumventing a decades-old pact providing a market monopoly in exchange for public oversight, an investor-owned utility has proposed legislation to allow it to build a new natural gas plant criticized for its financial and environmental impact, and then stick customers with the tab.

Energy Democracy Media Roundup – week of January 23, 2017

This week in Energy Democracy news:

Mississippi implements net metering, Montana grapples with proper solar valuation, and the opportunity of infrastructure funding in a new administration offers grid modernization (but caution, too).

Featured Stories:

As Trump heads to White House, lack of actual policy threatens US energy future by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Solar: Choice, Competition, and Clean Air

It’s simple to promote solar power as a money saver and clean alternative to fossil fuel generation. But it sells solar short to focus only on savings, when it also gives Americans the freedom to generate their own energy and to challenge the economic and political power of big corporations.

Broadly Sharing the Benefits of “Decarbonization”

Last summer I saw a presentation on “deep decarbonization” that outlined necessary changes in the U.S. economy in order to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The presentation was fascinating, offering some very specific elements to focus our attention. For example, the following graphic shows the average number of replacements for various infrastructure types prior to the typical deadline of 2050. A hot water heater might be swapped three times by 2050, providing several opportunities to make it more efficient or switch its fuel source.

Energy Democracy Media Roundup – week of January 9, 2017

This week in Energy Democracy news:

GreenTech Media ranked the states most friendly to solar, the fight for proper valuation of solar energy continues in Montana and Maine, and Iowa’s latest energy plan promotes the vast potential of renewable energy of all stripes in their state.

Energy Democracy, 2016 in Review

While 2016 was a turbulent year in our government, the goals and values we hold at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and in the Energy Democracy initiative remain steadfast.

New Year’s Resolutions for Electric Utilities, Happy 2017!

The turn of the year is a perfect time for monopoly electric utilities nationwide to reflect on their substandard policies and embrace changes that will bring cleaner, more affordable energy to their customers. By finally committing to truly support distributed generation and renewables, these utilities can ensure their customers will have the choice and freedom they deserve in an evolving energy economy.

Energy Democracy Media Roundup – week of December 26, 2016

This week in Energy Democracy news:

A large energy bill passed Michigan, Arizona de-valued solar power, and much more excitement in this year-end Energy Democracy media roundup!

Featured Stories:

Arizona vote puts an end to net metering to solar customers by Julia Pyper, GreenTech Media

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