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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.

How Should California Design its Renewable Energy Future?

California’s landmark renewable energy policy, the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS), establishes a clear blueprint for clean energy investment in the short-run: by 2020, all utilities are required to source 33 percent of their retail electricity sales from renewables. The big question now is what happens after that? What role should renewables play in California’s long-term goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050? Read More

Categories: Energy, Fossil Fuels  

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Arizonans Stand Up for Solar Power

In July, I blogged about a proposal that Arizona Public Service (APS) submitted to its regulator, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), to dramatically reduce incentives to install solar panels on homes and businesses. On Wednesday more than 100 people descended on ACC to protest it. The event kicked off two days of hearings that will decide whether to maintain Arizona’s existing net metering policy, which allows solar customers to receive credit on their electricity bills for each kilowatt-hour of electricity generated by their solar panels. Read More

Categories: Energy  

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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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