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About John Farrell

John Farrell 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.



Author Archives: John Farrell

3 Forces Fighting Local Renewable Energy & 3 Ways To Fight Back

December 4th, 2017 | by John Farrell

Utility companies are undercutting state regulation with their legislative lobbyists. And utilities are also bringing their monopoly market power to bear in previously competitive markets. We’ll detail examples of each of these three disturbing trends, and ways to fight back


Energy Democracy – A Response to Trump’s Climate-Wrecking Agenda

December 1st, 2017 | by John Farrell

John Farrell participated in a phone call with Anya Schoolman of the Community Power Network detailing the future of renewable energy under the new Trump administration. Farrell addressed the tools that communities have to take control of their energy future, regardless of whether the federal government is a clean energy friend or foe


Slow-To-Accelerate EV Charging Program Provides Lessons For Improvement

November 16th, 2017 | by John Farrell

Minnesota’s largest investor-owned utility, Xcel Energy, last month reported sparse participation in a program designed to deliver value to customers who charge their electric vehicles when it’s most convenient for the grid. But despite its benefits for the grid and cost savings for customers, the initiative appears stuck in neutral.


Boulder County Incentive Program Drives Adoption Of Two “Sexy Electrics” — Solar & Electric Cars (Episode 47 Of Local Energy Rules Podcast)

November 13th, 2017 | by John Farrell

An innovative group purchasing program in Boulder County, Colorado, put hundreds of electric vehicles on local roads and sparked the addition of more than 1 megawatt of rooftop solar in its first two years. Now, the initiative is a springboard for efforts nationwide to allow consumers to seize control of their clean energy future.


Working Together, Small Solar Firms Compete With Big-Name Rivals — Episode 45 Of Local Energy Rules Podcast

October 26th, 2017 | by John Farrell

Fast-improving technology and growing consumer interest continue to put momentum behind the clean energy transition. Unlike utilities and other industry players that have largely ignored growth opportunities as market dynamics shift, a coalition of independent solar companies is harnessing its combined power to command more influence in the marketplace.


Minnesota Regulators Eye Subcommittee To Resolve Distributed Generation Disputes

October 20th, 2017 | by John Farrell

Better technology and falling costs for years have buoyed the clean energy economy, steadily putting rooftop solar, energy efficiency, and other distributed energy resources within reach of more U.S. households and businesses. Still, many utilities remain averse to accommodating these amenities despite significant — and rising — demand in the marketplace


Electric Vehicles Report: Part 3 — Changing Rules To Maximize Electric Vehicle Benefits

October 9th, 2017 | by John Farrell

With a virtuous cycle of falling battery costs driving increased electric vehicle deployment, and deployment improving the economics of scale of battery production, the widespread adoption of electric vehicles is likely inevitable. But policies enacted now could influence the timing of widespread use and shape how electric cars benefit the grid.


Electric Vehicles Report: Part 1 — Electric Vehicles Are Going Mainstream

October 2nd, 2017 | by John Farrell

Now, nearly two decades later and 120 years after its introduction, the electric car is making an unmistakable comeback. This time, it’s aided by better technology as well as environmentally sensitive consumers and policymakers looking to supplant fossil fuel use with renewable electricity.


Would You Pay 5% More For Local Energy?

September 28th, 2017 | by John Farrell

In recent months, a raft of cities and states pushed up their renewable energy targets to 50%, 80%, or even 100%. But how will that energy be delivered? Will it be from the top down, by merchant wind and solar power plants? Or from the bottom up, by customers producing their own power?


Westchester Power Puts New York Communities In Charge Of Energy Future — Episode 43 Of Local Energy Rules Podcast

September 25th, 2017 | by John Farrell

A growing number of small- and mid-size communities are harnessing their shared market power to promote local renewable energy. Using a state policy called community choice aggregation, these communities can unseat powerful monopoly utilities and seize greater control over their energy futures by choosing their electricity suppliers or generating their own power.



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