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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.

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

Categories: Energy  

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Solar for You and Me (Not Just the 1%)

Last week, the California Public Utilities Commission released a report tracking the progress of the California Solar Initiative. This program, more commonly known as the “CSI,” offers customers of the three largest investor-owned utilities in California—Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas and Electric—incentives to install solar panels on rooftops. The CSI is the largest solar program in the country and aims to install 1,940 megawatts (MW) of solar generation capacity by the end of 2016. Read More

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Energy Elsewhere: What’s Happening in Clean Energy Outside the Continental United States?

As we are thinking more globally about climate change these days in light of Rio+20, I thought you might enjoy a glimpse into the plans of Northeast Asia. Read More

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More Solar Roofs in California

Last week’s decision by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to expand the number of electricity ratepayers who can receive financial credit for producing surplus energy from their rooftop solar panels was a victory for consumers, for the solar industry and for the future of renewable energy. Read More

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Charging Electric Cars from the Grid: A Good Choice – or the Best Choice for Lowering Global Warming Emissions?

Electric vehicles, hailed by some as the greenest cars on the planet, have also been dismissed by others as an expensive way to do little more than move vehicle emissions from the tailpipe to a smokestack. So who’s got it right? My colleague, Amine Mahmassani, who works in the Clean Vehicles program at UCS recently co-authored a new report on electric vehicles which clears the air on the issue. I interviewed Amine to see what I could learn about global warming emissions from charging vehicles on the electricity grid. Read More

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Imperial Valley Gets Some Sun

This week, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors gave the green light to a series of large-scale solar PV projects, totaling 600 MW of generation capacity, to be constructed in the Imperial Valley of California. Read More

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Clean Energy Prices (Not the Sky) Falling in California

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) released a report this week on the costs of California’s progress in generating more electricity from renewable power, and there was good news. Read More

Categories: Energy, Global Warming  

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An Image Worth A Thousand Words

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), from its Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), just released an updated analysis that indicates 2011 was the ninth warmest year on record for the planet. GISS Director James Hansen said: “Even with the cooling effects of a strong La Niña influence and low solar activity for the past several years, 2011 was one of the 10 warmest years on record.”  Read More

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