Empower Our Future

Clean Energy. Local Control.

Hot Topics

The Trouble with Monopoly Utilities

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver discusses the problem with privately-owned monopoly utilities.

John Farrell of the Institute for Local Self Reliance follows up on Oliver’s report about what can be done to hold utilities accountable. 

Fact Checking Bob Yates

Response to Bob Yates writing in his Boulder Bulletin, January 2022 “From Foe to Friend”

Go Big or Go Local?

This NYT article about electricity policy debate… 

Inspired this NPR Fresh Air interview with NYT reporter Ivan Penn, “US Faces Crossroads On Renewable Energy Future — Go Big or Go Local”

Social Cost of Carbon

Allen Best’s Aug. 2, 2021 article in Energy News Network on the social cost of methane.

Xcel's Proposed Rate Increase

7/26/21 Colorado Sun article: Xcel Energy needs a smarter, greener electric grid. But should Colorado customers foot the $344 million bill for it?

If the Public Utilities Commission OK’s Xcel’s largest ever rate increase, electric bills for Colorado customers will have increased 20% since the start of the year.


Check out our “Events” page and the Empower Hour featuring Todd Pistorese of Supercapacitor Energy. This technology is an advanced energy-storage system (as an alternative to chemical batteries). 

Just after our SuperCaps Empower Hour Gulf News  published this article about investment in the field:

 “Advanced energy storage technology developed in UAE receives $20m funding from US global infrastructure development firm – BIDC’s investment proves Supercap Energy Storage as alternative to chemical batteries”


Boulder Weekly Q & A with Dr. Peter Lilienthal

What’s Up with Microgrids, 8.12.21 Empower Hour with Dr. Peter Lilienthal. See the Empower Our Future Events page for the event slides and video.

More Microgrids – The Answer to a Worrying Trend. By creating many smaller systems (and therefore “points of failure”) microgrids can help the US prepare for a century of extreme weather–and cyber attacks… See Utility Dive brief “While bulk power system remains reliable, key metric suggests worrying trend, NERC (the North American Electric Reliability Corp.) finds. NERC’s 2021 Annual Assessment report.

Brooklyn Microgrid

This community-driven initiative began in 2016 in when Park Slope residents participated in the first-ever peer-to-peer energy transactions.  BMG was created by parent company, LO3 Energy, to reimagine the traditional energy grid model by incorporating the concept of a communal energy network in which residential and commercial New Yorkers can buy and sell locally-generated, renewable energy. Brooklyn Microgrid aims to positively impact society, workers, the community, and the environment. Learn more at their website.

Blue Lake Rancheria

The Blue Lake Rancheria is a federally recognized Native American tribe in northwestern California, near the cities of Eureka and Arcata, five miles inland from the Pacific Coast, along California Highway 299.

Since 2002 the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe has accelerated transition to a zero-carbon community, for its economic, environmental, health, and overall resilience benefits.

The Tribe takes a “lifeline sector” approach to achieving zero-carbon sustainability and resilience. Lifeline sectors include: energy, water, food, communication/IT, and transportation

Through local, regional, state, national, and public/private partnerships – and sound planning and policy that pairs climate mitigation and adaptation in decision-making – the Tribe is exceeding its goals.

A mini microgrid: Ford F-150 generator saves Farmington Hills wedding reception during power outage

Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press
All of a sudden, the whole backyard went dark. The music stopped. The lights went out. Everyone just stood — still. Read the story…