We post our news and reflections on energy, and we also like to repost pieces that we find relevant to community-owned renewable energy. Topics touch on policy, finance, energy politics, case studies, breakthroughs, trends, electric vehicles, as well as the broader social, economic, and maybe even metaphysical dimensions of energy.


Tilting at the sun, again (Vernal Equinox 2019): They do it 4 times a year

The wonderful people at the Center at Donaldson up in Plymouth, Indiana are paying attention to the natural world, or maybe I should say our earthly home in relation to its travels in the solar system. In case you haven’t noticed, the sun has risen in the sky after what has been for many a

Being local in a time of madness: Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Last night (aka ‘Fat Tuesday’) I said a few words at Mountain Mardi Gras, a “friend raising” event AIRE co-organized with the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country. From all accounts, the evening was as near-perfect as it possibly could have been. Our proclamation tagline was “Come hell or high water, there’ll be Mardi Gras

EV charging in the wild, wild [south?]: culture and conflict at the electron pump

I recently posted a piece about the experiences my wife and I have had as EV newbies. (And here too.) The piece mapped out in some detail one single experience with EV charging while traveling. In particular, I listed one variable you have to contend with as an EV driver, especially when “Plan B” recharging

Toward Microgrid Learning: Poor Handmaids and The Center at Donaldson

With Phase 1 solar now operational and generating good results, the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ with their various missions at The Center at Donaldson are wasting no time lighting up a Phase 2, some 5 times bigger (just over 500kW). The provincial and lay leadership behind this great work (and I do mean to

EV Moonshot Part 2: What we’ve learned driving our Nissan Leaf (around the dark side of the moon)

Making a commitment to drive an EV involves a pretty serious paradigm shift. Universal EV adoption is a critical step toward decarbonizing transportation, so long as we’re driving on renewable energy (not coal, natural gas, etc.). Driving an EV to get around town is a no-brainer; you can charge at home or at work and

Connecting the Dots: Super storms, resilience, and the enduring blind spot

I just spent a few days on the Florida panhandle, where I went to see firsthand the ground-zero of Hurricane Michael at Mexico Beach. I was there 4 months to the day after Michael made its devastating landfall. Stunned. Sick to the stomach. Scary. Despair. Nothing in my experience prepared me for the sight. Standing

New AIRE working paper on energy transition

I’ve just drafted a wide-ranging paper dealing critically with our present incumbent energy system, its undemocratic characteristics and ecologically dangerous methods, and on the other hand an energy transition that “ought to be.” I’m putting forth the argument that energy transition, in addition to being the more obviously technical project, is also a social project.

Connecting the Dots: Cheap fracked gas isn’t cheap, the public pays

I recently wrote about neighborhoods in and around Denver-Boulder trying to pass a modest proposition to keep fracking rigs a little farther away from their backyards. That vote failed in the November elections as the fracking industry piled on a mountain of money to make sure they could continue to drill along side backyards, schools,