#1 cleantech news, reviews, & analysis site in the world. Subscribe today. The future is now.


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

A “Year Of 100” For Local, Renewable Energy In 2018

January 7th, 2019 | by John Farrell

Co-director of ILSR and Energy Democracy initiative director John Farrell and research associate Marie Donahue sat down before the winter break to reflect on what they are describing as the “Year of 100” — a landmark year for 100% renewable energy commitments in


Solar Co-ops Support Clean Energy Advances In D.C.

December 3rd, 2018 | by John Farrell

How does a growing, national nonprofit organization help homeowners complete the circle between clean energy ownership and policy advocacy? ILSR’s Energy Democracy Initiative director John Farrell talks with Anya Schoolman of Solar United Neighbors in this October 2018 recording about two major clean energy policies before the Washington, D.C., city council


How Cities Can Fund Their 100% Renewable Ambitions

November 19th, 2018 | by John Farrell

We’re inspired by the passage of the Portland Clean Energy Initiative this week, a ballot measure that will now provide $30 million per year for the city’s clean energy and climate work. Even better, the funds will target local energy deployment that lifts up low-income folks and people of color with energy savings and solar energy, as well as jobs installing these cost-saving measures.


Local Clean Energy On The Ballot This November

November 5th, 2018 | by John Farrell

In early November, millions will go to the polls to cast votes in this year’s midterm elections. In addition to electing candidates, some voters have a unique opportunity to directly shape their local energy system


How Your Local Elected Officals Can Support Clean Energy

October 23rd, 2018 | by John Farrell

Municipal elections often fall off the radar during national ones, but cities retain a surprising amount of power over their energy future. What can you ask a local candidate or elected official to pursue? The following list of 11 resolutions, actions, and rules can make your local city council or mayor a clean energy champion


Voices Of 100%: San Diego’s Pathway Forward

October 16th, 2018 | by John Farrell

With a population of just over 1.4 million people, San Diego, the country’s eighth largest city and the second largest in California, is also one of the largest to make a pledge to transition to 100% renewable energy. Drawing on a unique policy tool allowing cities to choose their electricity supply and the area’s enviably abundant solar resources, San Diego is well on its way to developing a clear pathway for how to reach its goal


Voices Of 100%: Shifting The Paradigm Toward Renewable Power In Pueblo, Colo.

October 2nd, 2018 | by John Farrell

A growing number of US cities have set goals to generate 100% of their electricity from renewable resources in the coming decades, each with its own unique circumstances and motivations. Pueblo, a small city of just over 100,000 residents located in southeastern Colorado, is one of these forward-thinking communities


Why Energy Codes Matter, & What Cities Can Do

September 24th, 2018 | by John Farrell

How efficient are buildings in your community? That depends a lot on the building code, which states (and sometimes cities) can use to set minimum standards for energy efficiency


Why Minnesota’s Community Solar Program Is The Best

September 10th, 2018 | by John Farrell

I’ve been asked a lot of questions about Minnesota’s community solar program over the past couple years and it’s time to make one thing clear: Minnesota’s program is the best in the country. Why? Because there 10 times more community solar projects in the queue -- 400 megawatts -- in Minnesota than have been built in the history of community solar in the United States (40 megawatts)


Ohio Residents Exercise Community Choice to Bill Themselves for Public Solar — Episode 56 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

July 30th, 2018 | by John Farrell

As consumers, we all want choice: the freedom to decide our own best interests and where our dollars go. In the energy sector, however, there are not always options to choose from. Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) frees communities to collectively choose their energy supplier. In Ohio, one city is stretching its freedom to choose even further


An Open Letter To California Energy Commissioners On The Rooftop Solar Mandate

July 16th, 2018 | by John Farrell

The conventional wisdom in electricity generation is that scale matters. But this outdated notion rests on the assumption that electricity generators compete only in the wholesale market. California’s nearly 1 million solar roofs already producing power provide the factual counterpunch to this myth, but so does ample research on the economies of scale and the price of competition in the wind and solar markets


New York Solar Bill Encourages Distributed Energy Market To Stay On Target

July 9th, 2018 | by John Farrell

If you like solar power, the waning days of New York’s legislative session might make you feel like fighters at the Rebel base during the last scenes of the original Star Wars film. As the scene shifts from the space battle and back again, a voice from the Death Star crew counts down the time until the superweapon will end the freedom fighters: “The Rebel base will be in range in 1 minute…”



Back to Top ↑