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Published on April 23rd, 2018 | by John Farrell


Presentation: Iowa Town Looks To City-Owned Utility

April 23rd, 2018 by  

Originally published at ilsr.org.

Frustrated with incumbent utility Alliant Energy for high costs and resistance to local renewable energy, the city council in Decorah, IA, has put a municipal utility takeover on the ballot on May 1, 2018. ILSR’s Director of Energy Democracy, John Farrell, provided a presentation to a forum of Decorah Power, the local advocacy organization favoring city utility ownership to discuss several advantages from local ownership. First, there’s an abundant local wind and solar energy resource. Second, Decorah isn’t alone, and over 2,000 other cities chart their own course with municipal ownership. Finally, getting power locally returns more dollars to the local economy.

John also discussed the limitations of the status quo, including the distance and limited public oversight of the current private, monopoly utility and the political power it can exercise on behalf of its shareholders, and often at the expense of its customers in Decorah and elsewhere. See more of ILSR’s research on municipal utilities here.

See the slides and watch the video below!



Local Power for Decorah, Iowa from John Farrell

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About the Author

directs the Democratic Energy 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 seminal 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 jfarrell@ilsr.org.

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