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Department of Energy Analysis Shows the Vast Economic Potential of Renewable Energy

A new analysis released by the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) shows renewable energy sources like wind and solar have the economic potential to supply from 35 percent to as much as 10 times our nation’s current power needs. This is welcome news coming on the heels of the EPA releasing its final Clean Power Plan to limit power plant carbon emissions and a spate of ambitious renewable energy goal announcements. It clearly demonstrates that U.S. can affordably accelerate the transition to a safe and reliable low-carbon energy future. Read More

Categories: Energy, Global Warming  

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California Can Reach 50% Renewable Energy: New UCS Analysis Shows Pathways and Solutions

This summer, Californians have not been able to ignore the evidence of climate change affecting our lives. Historic drought and searing temperatures have turned the Golden State into a tinderbox, escalating wildfires and placing serious strain on the state’s agricultural economy. Read More

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Meeting the Clean Power Plan: Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota Are Well on Their Way

The Environmental Protection Agency’s final Clean Power Plan (CPP) presents a significant opportunity for Midwest states to build on what they have already been doing: investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency while transitioning away from a reliance on outdated, inefficient and dirty coal-fired power plants. Read More

Categories: Energy  

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Are Oil Companies Ready for the Next Katrina?

Ten years ago this week, a hurricane was gaining strength in the North Atlantic.  Meteorologists worked around the clock to understand and predict its future path and strength. That path and strength, it turns out, would make the record books. Read More

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Cheap Renewable Energy is Here. Why Doesn’t The Grid Plan For It?

Wind farms and solar arrays are setting new records for low energy prices, with wind under 2 ½ cents and solar under 4 cents when conditions are right. These are cheap prices, given electricity from new natural gas plants is in the 5-7 cents range, coal at 6-10 cents, and nuclear somewhere between 13 and 15 cents, according to one fleet owner (nuclear can be unpredictable). So why aren’t more electric grid operators incorporating this energy as they plan to meet grid needs? Read More

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Let’s Talk Trash: What the EPA’s Methane Rules Lack on Landfills

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas—34 times more potent than carbon dioxide. In our battle against climate change, we need to limit methane’s release into the atmosphere, which is exactly what the EPA’s methane rules, released earlier this week, attempt to do. But as documented in our recently released fact sheet, we can do more with methane than just limit its release. In fact, in the case of landfills, we can actually optimize methane production and capture it as a low-carbon biofuel. I’ll have much more to say about reducing climate emissions from the oil and gas sector over the next several months—stay tuned—but for now, let’s talk trash. Read More

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Most States Well on the Path to Comply with Final Clean Power Plan

On August 3, President Obama announced the release of the final Clean Power Plan (CPP), setting the first ever limits on carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. Today, UCS is releasing an updated version of our States of Progress analysis, which calculates the progress states are expected to make toward meeting their CPP emission reduction targets based on committed clean energy actions. We find that 31 states are on track to be more than halfway toward meeting their 2022 emission rate benchmarks, and that 20 states are on track to be more than halfway toward meeting their final 2030 CPP rate-based compliance targets. Read More

Categories: Energy  

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Four Ways the Final Clean Power Plan Limits the Rush to Natural Gas

Earlier this week we watched history being made as President Obama and EPA Administrator McCarthy announced the release of the final Clean Power Plan, setting the first-ever limits on carbon emissions from power plants. The final plan includes a major improvement that UCS has championed over the last year: measures that help limit a rush to natural gas as states work to cut their carbon emissions. That’s good news for consumers, and for the climate. Read More

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EPA Expands the Role of Renewable Energy in the Final Clean Power Plan

On August 3, the EPA finalized the Clean Power Plan, placing limits on carbon emissions from our nation’s power plants for the first time. Undervalued as carbon-curbing technologies in the proposed draft, the EPA took several steps to strengthen the role that renewables can play in the final rule. That means wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources are well positioned to help states meet their emission reduction targets and accelerate our nation’s transition to a clean, low-carbon economy. Read More

Categories: Energy, Fossil Fuels, Global Warming  

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Cost of EPA’s Climate Plan? Minor Compared to the Benefits

The first-ever national limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants have just become final. That’s great news for finally getting a grip on carbon from the U.S. power sector. But what’s it going to cost us?

The good news is that cutting carbon turns out to be not just affordable, but smart: the Clean Power Plan’s public health and climate benefits, worth an estimated $34 billion to $54 billion in 2030, far outweigh the estimated costs of $8.4 billion. Read More

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