A battle for clean energy: the Kit Carson coop story

That outdated business models, conflicting interests, and aging technologies hogtie today’s behemoth electric utilities is no more evident than in the picturesque rural community of Taos, New Mexico. It is there that an inspired and tenacious collection of local energy champions have upended the sluggish pace of change that is the “business as usual” of many utilities. Read More

Microgrid powered neighborhoods are a real thing – how can we get more of them?

Imagine a neighborhood powered entirely by local energy. Shared solar panels, energy efficient homes, and community batteries to power houses at night. Even when the grid is down, lights and air conditioning will keep running without a hitch. While this vision remains a rarity, it is starting to happen. The Reynolds Landing Smart Neighborhood in… Read More

Hawaii is a postcard from our electric future (Part 2)

Island power grids are a microcosm of the vastly larger grids that criss-cross the planet. In Part 1 of this series, we looked at how small islands are pioneering the path to clean energy. They are disproving conventional wisdom by showing that intermittent power from the sun and wind can successfully provide affordable and reliable… Read More

Islands: fruity drinks, sandy beaches, and the future of the electric grid (Part 1)

The shift to clean, local energy is a real challenge for many utilities. Their traditional planning models choke on the variability of solar and wind power. Self-generation from rooftop solar and improvements in energy efficiency threaten to end a century of revenue growth. Increases in extreme weather events are making blackouts more common. To get away from all these… Read More

California just required solar on all new houses – will the world follow?

California just made a huge commitment to Local Energy. On May 9,  California’s Energy Commission (CEC) unanimously passed a groundbreaking new building standard. Starting in 2020, all new homes in the state must be built with solar panels. Yes, that’s right. In California, residential solar is now required by law. How does the new building standard work?… Read More

Montgomery County Maryland didn’t have the budget for their microgrid so they invented a new business model

It was the summer of 2012 and the Mid-Atlantic was being pummeled by one of the worst storms in years. This was the second summer of heavy thunderstorms and squalls to come through Montgomery County, Maryland, in as many years.  The county leaders were scrambling to dispatch police and emergency workers. But with so many… Read More

Africa is democratizing energy – a TED talk by Amar Inamdar shares lessons that can impact energy everywhere

Local energy is the fastest path to cleaner, cheaper, more reliable power. Nowhere is this truer than Africa. And, few people express the amazing future of local energy in Africa better than Amar Inamdar. His recent talk from TEDGlobal 2017 was featured on the home page of TED.com and has been spectacularly well received. If… Read More

Three steps that will help Puerto Rico’s grid survive the next hurricane

On September 6, 2017, Hurricane Irma hit Puerto Rico and left a million people without power. Two weeks later, on September 20, Hurricane Maria finished off the job and destroyed nearly 100% of the island’s grid. In early October, the governor, Ricardo Rosselló, optimistically predicted that 95% of the power would be restored by mid-December. But,… Read More