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

Should Energy Storage Share The Tax Credits For Renewable Energy?

March 13th, 2017 | by John Farrell

In May of 2016, the US Representative from Silicon Valley, Mike Honda (D), introduced the Energy Storage for Grid Resilience and Modernization Act (H.R. 5350). In short, this bill extends the current 30% Renewable Energy Tax Credit (which was just extended last year) to energy storage technologies, not just the wind, solar, and geothermal power plants that feed electricity into the grid.


Is New York’s “Compromise” The Future For Net Metering?

March 6th, 2017 | by John Farrell

The proposed solution is a three-part price for solar energy produced, but not used, locally: the value of the electricity based on location, the value to the distribution (local) grid, and the “external” societal value. The new price works in concert with, rather than replacing, net metering


Picking Up PACE After New Federal Guidance

February 27th, 2017 | by John Farrell

A promising energy efficiency program could get closer to reaching its massive potential after a federal policy tweak that tempers lenders’ concerns to allow more homeowners to cash in


Mountains Beyond Mountains: How Green Mountain Power Became More Than An Electric Utility – Episode 38 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

January 30th, 2017 | by John Farrell

“We just need to become the Ben and Jerry’s of the utility world!” So said Mary Powell, CEO and president of Green Mountain Power, as she announced in 2014 that her electric utility had just earned B Corp certification, making it one of more than 1,700 companies in the world committed to rigorous standards for sustainability, accountability and transparency


Competition & Freedom At Stake — Episode 37 Of Local Energy Rules Podcast

January 25th, 2017 | by John Farrell

Incentives designed to make rooftop solar feasible for a wider range of consumers are under attack nationwide, threatening new solar development as well as the consumers that already have rooftop panels. The staunchest opponents? Utilities which say, despite a growing body of research to the contrary, that rooftop solar hurts other ratepayers and their bottom lines


Beyond Sharing Report – Part 2: Barrier Busting

January 6th, 2017 | by John Farrell

There are three big tools for breaking down the barriers to community renewable energy: using non-tax-based incentives for renewable energy, simplifying the process of raising capital, and adopting formal “community energy” laws that enable power sharing.


Beyond Sharing Report — Part 1: Benefits of Community-Owned Renewable Energy

January 4th, 2017 | by John Farrell

In this report, we talked about several forms of community renewable energy. Community-owned renewables are owned locally, by members of the community. Shared renewables may or may not be locally owned, but the community can share the output. Group purchasing involves collective action to purchase renewable energy, such as rooftop solar arrays, but the benefits accrue to the individuals who host the solar on their rooftops


Presentation: Re-Member-ing the Electric Cooperative

December 5th, 2016 | by John Farrell

placeholderIn March of 2016, we published a report on the state of rural electric cooperatives in the current electricity market: Re-Member-ing the Electric Cooperative. Below you will find our newly developed presentation based on this report. Forward and share widely


Why Is Green Pricing A Premium When Wind Power Is Cheap?

November 15th, 2016 | by John Farrell

Ten years ago, a North Dakota cooperative stopped charging customers a premium for getting energy from the wind, because they found it wasn't costing anything extra. The cooperative, like many utilities, used a "green pricing" program that allowed customers to voluntarily pay more to get their energy solely from renewable resources


Energy Policies On The 2016 Ballot

November 7th, 2016 | by John Farrell

In 2016, more states than ever before have attempted to place items on their ballots to change the energy landscape. Sponsored by citizen groups, legislators, and (sometimes) energy industry giants, these initiatives range from encouraging energy choice to placing further limits on the propagation of nuclear energy



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