What is the best way to make electricity? The answer isn’t simple

How should we generate electricity for the world’s grids? This may be one of the most important questions of the 21st century. The stakes are incredibly high. At $2 trillion a year, electricity is one of the largest and most influential industries on earth. Whichever directions we take, some of the world’s largest corporations will… 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

How do you know if a microgrid makes sense for you?

Microgrids are the epitome of Local Energy. As the name suggests, microgrids are miniature versions of the big grid. They generate their own power and they have their own loads. And, if the grid goes down, microgrids continue to operate in what the industry calls “island mode”. Even though there are only a few thousand built so… 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

Three months into Trump’s solar tariffs – are the promised new jobs in sight?

On February 7, 2018, the U.S. tariffs on imported silicon solar technology went into effect. As we approach the three month anniversary, what, if anything, has happened as a result? A quick history lesson on the US solar tariffs Let’s step back for a brief history lesson. In the spring of 2017, the two largest… 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

Myth busting the crazy politics of clean energy – is Solyndra proof that the US shouldn’t fund clean energy?

OK, so you’re at a party and looking for something to talk about. Nothing is more entertaining than wading neck deep into politics. And few topics are more politically exciting than energy and climate change. So here are some talking points to really spice up those cocktail conversations (and maybe get you kicked out of… Read More

The Trump administration slaps a 30% tariff on all imported solar

After months of paralyzing uncertainty, President Trump’s staff announced their decision on solar tariffs today. Here is a high-level overview: Quick Facts Imported solar is subject to a 30% tariff The tariff amount will reduce 5% per year over 4 years to 15% The first 2.5 GW of solar cells imported each year will not… Read More

How New York is once again leading the local energy revolution

After years of relentless toil in his New Jersey laboratory, Thomas Edison created one of the most celebrated inventions in history: the first commercially practical light bulb. But it was just across the Hudson River, in Manhattan, that another Edison invention made his iconic light bulb available to the masses. See, in the late 1800’s,… 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