The following presentation by Institute for Local Self-Reliance Senior Researcher John Farrell examines the five major barriers to the expansion of community-based and conventional distributed renewable energy.
The barriers range from the challenge of raising capital to forming a legal structure that allows for local ownership and for access to tax incentives. It also examines the uphill struggle against utility and regulatory inertia toward large scale power generation and utility hostility to local power generation because of its threat to their market share.
There are also several examples of community-based projects that have succeeded despite the challenges, and that offer models for promoting clean, local power generation.
Author John Farrell can also be found discussing clean, local energy options for Minneapolis on Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s latest podcast, found here.
This post originally appeared on ILSR’s Energy Self-Reliant States blog.
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, Democratizing the Electricity System, describes how to blast the roadblocks to distributed renewable energy generation, and how such small-scale renewable energy projects are the key to the biggest strides in renewable energy development. Farrell also authored the landmark report Energy Self-Reliant States, which serves as the definitive energy atlas for the United States, detailing the state-by-state renewable electricity generation potential. Farrell regularly provides discussion and analysis of distributed renewable energy policy on his blog, Energy Self-Reliant States (energyselfreliantstates.org), and articles are regularly syndicated on Grist and Renewable Energy World. John Farrell can also be found on Twitter @johnffarrell, or at email@example.com.