Join
Search

Renewable Energy in California Deserts: New Plan to Guide Smart and Sustainable Development

A draft of the long-awaited Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) will be released any day now. The DRECP is intended to provide a landscape-level assessment of the most appropriate and inappropriate places to build large-scale renewable energy projects in the California portions of the Mojave and Colorado deserts to minimize impacts on wildlife habitats and desert ecosystems. By identifying the most suitable locations for renewable energy projects, the DRECP will bring more efficiency and certainty to the project permitting process and help us meet our clean energy goals. Read More

Bookmark and Share

The Colorado Oil and Gas Task Force: Still a Chance for Science to Inform Fracking Policy

When news broke last month that the state of Colorado would be creating a blue-ribbon task force to study the impacts and inform regulation of hydraulic fracturing in the state, I wrote about the opportunity for science. In a state that has been ground zero in the fracking debate in many ways, this is a chance, I wrote, for Colorado to take a step back and consider how science can better inform oil and gas development there. Unfortunately, yesterday’s announcement of the task force membership shows this has yet to be the case. Read More

Bookmark and Share

How Much Carbon Dioxide Is in the Atmosphere? A Massive Increase in 2013 Sets a Record

The atmospheric CO2 increase of 2.9 ppm between 2012 and 2013 was the largest year-to-year change over the 1984 to 2013 period of record from the World Meteorological Organization.This is sobering news when it comes to what is arguably the most important statistic in climate science. Read More

Categories: Energy, Global Warming  

Tags: , ,   

Bookmark and Share

Cap and Trade: Alive and Well

After reading his obituary, Mark Twain famously remarked that “the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” When a national climate bill failed in 2010, a lot of people said that so-called cap and trade programs to cut heat-trapping gases were dead. The claim was exaggerated then, and proven wrong now. Recent results in the northeast and California show that cap and trade is alive and well, and poised to expand in the next several years. Read More

Bookmark and Share

How Many Homes Have Rooftop Solar? The Number is Growing…

Remember when the most likely place to glimpse solar in action was the little strip attached to a pocket calculator? Well, fortunately solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies have come a long way, and now it’s common to see PV panels on residential and commercial rooftops around the country. This dramatic rise in residential solar PV installations is depicted below in UCS’s new solar infographic. From 2006 to 2013, the number of homes with solar grew by more than 1,000 percent.
Read More

Categories: Energy, Global Warming  

Tags: , , ,   

Bookmark and Share

The Cost of Installing Solar Panels: Plunging Prices, and What They Mean For You

Installing rooftop solar panels has never been more affordable. UCS’s new solar infographic highlights the remarkable drop in the cost of rooftop solar in recent years, and how people are getting systems for even less, or even for zero dollars down. Here’s how the numbers add up (or down), and why—and how you can get in on the action.

Read More

Categories: Energy  

Tags: , ,   

Bookmark and Share

Birds, Solar Power, and the Future of Renewable Energy in California

It’s an exciting time for solar, as UCS recently communicated its new report, Solar Power on the Rise. But with any strong surge in an emerging industry, unintended consequences crop up that must be addressed. Read More

Bookmark and Share

How Much Does Rooftop Solar Power Cost? Grid Parity Here or Coming in More Than Half of U.S. States

Predicting the arrival of solar energy for electricity that is as cheap as local electricity prices is actually harder than predicting the sunrise. But UCS’s new solar infographic tells this exciting crossover point is right in front of millions of homeowners across the country. Read More

Bookmark and Share

There Oughtta Be a Law to Fix the Grid—and There Is!

Federal policies to introduce more choice in electricity supplies, and competition from new technologies and companies, continue to evolve and improve. These reforms have greatly fostered the growth of renewable energy across the United States. And a court decision today will help ensure that they continue to do so.
Read More

Bookmark and Share

The Economist Ignores Reality, Highlights Flawed Renewable Energy Study

A recent article in The Economist covers a study comparing the costs of solar, wind, hydro, nuclear, and natural gas. Alas, the study starts with a fundamental misunderstanding of how our electricity system works, and goes  downhill from there. And The Economist’s attention unfortunately helps to perpetuate those errors. Here are five examples of what went wrong. Read More

Bookmark and Share