THE FASTEST PATH TO CLEANER, CHEAPER ENERGY IS LOCAL

Local Energy means individuals, communities and businesses have the choice to generate their own clean power, to create local jobs and to directly benefit from the rapidly decreasing costs of solar and wind energy.

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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

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This is the second in a three-part series on the origins of the modern power industry. Part 1 can be found at How Edison, Tesla, and other visionaries invented the modern grid. The sparks that started the AC/DC current wars By the late 1880s, Edison was on his way to dominating the rapidly growing power… Read More

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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

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Flip the switch. Your light turns on. Simple, right? Actually, the light switch is straightforward but the system behind it is anything but simple. When you flip that switch, you are instantaneously connecting your bulb to the most sophisticated machine ever built. Carl Sagan once said, “We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science… Read More

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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

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Take a moment to imagine a world without electricity. You will quickly realize how dependent our 21st-century lives are on this invisible and silent form of energy. The modern electric grid was built from the late 1800s through the mid-1900s during one of greatest waves of invention in human history. The century-old power industry is… Read More

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Competition is all about price, features, and customer experience. Right? That’s what business schools have been teaching for decades and it’s largely true. But, if you really want to change an industry, you need to change the rules. You need to create new business models. The untold story behind some of the most disruptive companies… Read More

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As the cyberattack on the Ukraine grid showed the world, electric utilities are the new target for cyber terrorism. A survey conducted by the website Utility Drive reflects the industry’s rapidly growing concern. In 2015 and 2016, utilities ranked threats from physical and cyberattacks as their sixth largest challenge. In 2017, these threats jumped to number one.… Read More

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  “There is no backup system to the grid.” – Gretchen Bakke from her book, The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future On March 15, 2018, the US government made a chilling announcement. Russian hackers have been successfully infiltrating the US electric grid over the last year, maybe longer. While rumors have been… Read More

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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

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The dirty secret of power plants Every time we turn on a light, crank up the air conditioning or wash our clothes, we are using electricity from the grid. But few of us ever stop and ponder the origins of our electricity. Do you know anyone that has actually been to a coal, natural gas,… Read More

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Myth-busting the politics of clean energy, part 2. Myth: Republicans dislike clean energy and don’t believe in climate change Let’s start by reviewing the Democratic party platform on clean energy and climate change. Addressing Climate Change Responsibly The same human economic activity that has brought freedom and opportunity to billions has also increased the amount… Read More

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