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Laura Wisland

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About the author: Laura Wisland is a senior energy analyst and an expert on California renewable energy policies. She holds a master’s degree in public policy. See Laura's full bio.

California Jumpstarts Energy Storage

One of the biggest challenges of relying on large quantities of renewable energy has to do with the fact that we can’t control when renewables actually generate electricity. When the wind blows, we get electricity, period. When the sun sets, our solar panels cannot provide the electricity we need at night. That is, of course, unless we capture the energy and store it for later use. Read More

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Electricity Rate Hikes in California? Not the Jolt Clean Energy Opponents Claim.

A coalition of industry trade groups that have long opposed California’s clean energy policies funded a report about a month ago that blamed California’s rising electricity rates on — you guessed it — California’s clean energy policies. Since the California Energy Commission just updated its electricity and natural gas demand forecast, which contains revised estimates for rate increases that are 15-20 percent lower than original predictions (see slide 3 of Tuesday’s presentation), I thought it was time for a blog on the subject of renewables and rates. Read More

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Latest Data on Solar Shows Price Declines through 2012

According to the latest Tracking the Sun report from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), prices for installed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems fell between 6% and 14% in 2012. The report also contains a 2013 snapshot for California systems, where prices fell by an additional 10% to 15% in the first 6 months. Read More

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Arizona: Don’t Turn Out the Lights on Solar Power

Arizona, a state known for abundant sunshine and one of the fastest growing populations in the country, may be changing its rooftop solar program in a way that would decrease the benefits that utility customers receive from installing solar panels on their roofs. Read More

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New Renewable Energy Rule Adopted for California’s Publicly Owned Utilities

On Wednesday, the California Energy Commission adopted regulations that clarified how the state’s more than 40 publicly owned utilities (POUs) will participate in the country’s largest renewable energy purchase program. Read More

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Solar Power Heats Up in Minnesota

Earlier this month, I wrote a blog describing how states across the country are scaling up investments in solar power. I’m happy to report that the good solar news just keeps on coming! Read More

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Solar Power Blooms Across the Country

As the days get longer, I am reminded that summer is just around the corner. The extra daylight is reinvigorating my garden. But lately, another bloom has captured my attention: the solar photovoltaic (PV) installations sprouting up across the country. Read More

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California Sets New Record for Wind Generation

When we are ready for winter to end but forced to endure a few more weeks of grey and blustery days, we often attempt to comfort ourselves by saying “April showers bring May flowers.” But now, thanks to the growing amount of wind generation capacity and blustery spring winds, we can expect something else in April: loads of clean, renewable energy. Read More

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Climate Change Impacts To Our Surf and Turf

Earlier this year, the United States Global Change Research Program released its draft of the Third National Climate Assessment (NCA), which consolidates our current understanding of climate change and its impacts on states and regions across the country. The report is an impressive summary of what’s happening to our planet as we break temperature records that date back as far as the Holocene. Read More

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Will Clean Energy Research and Development Be Sequestered?

In his State of the Union address, President Obama talked about the role research and development (R&D) has played to advance our society and enhance our quality of life. I think that most people would agree that keeping the lights on in a clean and safe manner is a core “quality of life” issue for all Americans. Yet, unless Congress reaches a budget deal by the end of the month, mandatory across-the-board funding cuts known as the sequester will kick in March 1. Given the important role R&D has played in advancing clean energy, I thought I’d lay out what’s at stake. Read More

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