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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.

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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The Local Energy Movement: Coming to a Town Near You

So far, our blog series — Ramping Up Renewables: Clean Energy Policies to Watch in 2013 — has provided you with information that quantifies the recent growth of wind and solar generation, explains the transformative potential of carbon emission standards on our national energy portfolio, and catalogs the benefits accrued by states that have adopted a renewable electricity standard. “Great!” you say. “But what about small-scale renewables that can be built on warehouses and above parking lots? How do we use policy to promote these projects in our own communities?” Read More

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Don’t Let Calls for Improvement Halt Clean Energy Progress in California

I’d like to share my take on a recently released report by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office that suggests California is blindly stumbling into its clean energy future with no roadmap or sense of the terrain it’s already traversed. This report seems to conclude that lack of coordination between energy agencies, or at least evidence of room for improvement, is reason for us to delay making plans for a cleaner energy future. I strongly disagree. Read More

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Good News for Solar Prices

Getting more for your money is always good news, and a new report released by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) confirms that solar continues to be a good bang for one’s buck. Read More

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Rethinking Our Grid After Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy is a powerful reminder of just how vulnerable our country’s electricity infrastructure is to extreme weather, and how a more localized, renewable energy system can strengthen the resilience of state and regional grids. Read More

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Facts Speak Louder Than Ads in Michigan When it Comes to Clean Energy

In Michigan, a mind-blowing $24 million in cash and resources has been dumped into a last-ditch effort to derail Proposal 3, the voter-initiated plan to generate 25 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable energy by 2025. Michiganders hoping to sort out the facts amidst a barrage of attack ads should heed two pieces of sage advice. One, do not believe everything you see on TV. Two, follow the money. Read More

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Clean Energy Blurs Political Lines (Despite What You Hear on TV)

If all you did was listen to political rhetoric about the green economy, including statements we heard during last night’s presidential debate, you would probably conclude that support for green jobs is divided along party lines. However, a new report released by DBL investors proves that this is not true. Outside Washington, governors and mayors from both traditionally “red” and “blue” states are recognizing the potential of the clean economy to bring jobs to their states. Read More

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Solar Power Gets Down to Business

What’s your first impression when you walk into a Walmart store? I’d bet you would hone in on the Halloween bags of M&Ms on sale and not the solar panels on the roof. And yet, 144 Walmart stores across the country have gone solar, lighting the aisles for more 12 million Americans each month with clean energy. Read More

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A Clean Energy Lesson From “Sesame Street”: Cooperation Makes it Happen

Remember that classic “Sesame Street” song about cooperation? Well folks, it’s not just useful for singing muppets and kindergarteners. We can take some lessons from Jim Henson when it comes to clean energy too. Read More

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In California, Not All Renewable Energy Investments Are Created Equal

Last week, UCS released a report analyzing the renewable energy investments that California’s 10 largest publicly owned utilities (POUs) made towards the state’s first Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal, which encouraged POUs to source 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources like the wind and sun by 2010. The RPS was expanded in 2011 and now requires all utilities to reach 33 percent renewables by 2020. Read More

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