Russia doesn’t know it, but it just made a strong case for local energy

The worldwide headline today is that Russia is cutting natural gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria unless they pay in rubles, making energy, in essence, a weapon of war. European leaders described Russia's move as blackmail to undercut their support of Ukraine. Russia's actions make real the longtime worry that European countries are too … [Read more...]

San Jose, California mayor again pushes for energy independence with support of Google microgrid

The San Jose City Council voted this week to take the next step in reviewing a microgrid planned by Google, giving Mayor Sam Liccardo another victory in his quest for city energy independence. “We need dependable, resilient, reliable power, and microgrids are clearly a pathway to doing so for many communities,” Liccardo said during the April … [Read more...]

US DOE to help 22 communities find infrastructure funds for microgrids and clean energy projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has opened the door for 22 communities to capture federal infrastructure funds for microgrids and other clean energy projects through a program that emphasizes “place-based approaches.” Called Communities LEAP (Local Energy Action Program), the initiative helps these cities, towns and tribes develop clean energy … [Read more...]

Movement on pro-microgrid legislation in Congress and Colorado

Last week brought movement on bills in Congress and the state of Colorado that could help bolster microgrids. With the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376) stalled, House Democrats in the US Congress last week tried another tactic to move climate legislation forward, this time seeking a path through the Defense Production Act. The act gives … [Read more...]

The connection between food, energy, war and microgrids

Food and energy are two closely linked commodities as recent price spikes make the world painfully aware.  In February, food made its highest 12-month price jump in 40 years. Meanwhile, energy prices rose more than any other commodity last year — before the Ukraine war — and continued to go up in 2022.  The war is prohibiting Ukraine, the … [Read more...]

Microgrid Talk: Energy politics and not poking the big bear

Energy is highly politicized. And as Jim Fonger, Canadian vice president at Ameresco, points out, that’s bad news for innovation.  Building new energy infrastructure takes a long time, much longer than the duration of political cycles. So energy technology gets caught up in a start/stop cycle as political parties … [Read more...]

California’s community energy resilience bill passes key hurdle

California’s Community Energy Resilience Act (SB 833), which would help cities and local governments develop energy resilience plans using clean distributed energy resources, passed a key legislative hurdle this week. The state legislative Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications cleared the way for the bill to proceed in a … [Read more...]

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney to open Microgrid 2022

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney will open Microgrid 2022: Microgrids as Climate Heroes on June 1, the first day of a two-day event expected to draw hundreds of energy leaders and innovators to Philadelphia. Kenney, who was sworn into office on Jan. 4, 2016, as the 99th mayor of Philadelphia, has become known for championing anti-poverty … [Read more...]

What Biden’s State of the Union indicates about the path ahead for microgrids

Federal tax credits for clean energy, which include microgrids, appear to still be in play based on the State of the Union address delivered by President Joe Biden last night. In the annual speech before Congress, Biden discussed the tax credits in the context of helping Americans economically and battling inflation. He said that combating … [Read more...]

Good places to build microgrids in the US?

Microgrids are part of a growing ecosystem of "local energy" that allows individuals, cities and communities to build energy wealth. In the US, state rules heavily influence how well local energy thrives. A new scorecard by ​​the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), a national research and advocacy organization, ranks California, … [Read more...]