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Behind the Curtain, Grid Operators Reveal Path to Reduce Carbon

The electric grid contains many mysteries, and we will have to master many of these to reduce carbon emissions. Fortunately, the independent grid operators are increasingly pulling back the curtain on renewable energy and coal plant retirements. And the view is great! Read More

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Basking in the Rays of the Summer Solstice, California Positioned to Break Solar Generation Record

Since we are approaching the summer solstice (June 21), the longest day of the year and the official start of summer, I thought it was a good time to look at how longer days and more sunshine are translating into more clean electricity. The bottom line: solar is starting to pull its weight on the grid. Read More

Categories: Energy  

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It’s Electric! The Science of Cleaner Vehicles

Guest Bogger

James Nolan, Associate Professor
Department of Biology, Georgia Gwinnett College

Lawrenceville, GA

I’m a biochemist by training, but my family’s leap into Electric Vehicle (EV) driving was not entirely a reasoned scientific choice, initially. We have always been energy-conscious, even before climate change was on our radar. We have always tried to live near our workplaces to save fuel and time. When hybrid vehicles came on the market, we did not seriously consider buying one, because it did not make economic sense for us; our savings on fuel would never match the difference in up-front price of a hybrid at that time.  The BP oil spill on April 20, 2010 changed the equation for us. Read More

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New EPA Power Plant Rule Shows How Gina McCarthy Is Like Thomas Jefferson at the Dawn of America

Gina McCarthy, current U.S. EPA Administrator, released historic words this week in a long draft document about national power plant goals. How do they compare to the goals penned by Thomas Jefferson in a much shorter draft document, the Declaration of Independence? Let’s crunch some numbers to find out.  Read More

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EPA Carbon Standard Opens the Door for Renewables, Now States Must Take Them over the Threshold

This week the EPA released its draft power plant carbon standard, and renewable energy was included as one of the technologies that states can use for reducing CO2 emissions. That’s terrific news for wind, solar, and other renewable energy technologies, which are already demonstrating they’re capable of ramping up in a big way. But in order to keep the U.S. moving toward a truly low-carbon economy, states must seize the opportunity and make renewables a cornerstone of their compliance plans. Read More

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Gina McCarthy, the Power Plant Carbon Standards, and Reducing the Risk of Power Outages

The EPA’s new power plant carbon standards are a potential climate game changer for a whole lot of reasons, given how much fossil-fueled power plants contribute to global warming. And in her speech unveiling the proposed standards on Monday, in talking about what global warming means for the power sector, rather than the other way around, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy nailed it. Read More

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Another Reason Ohio Senate Bill 310 Is a Bad Idea: It Hinders Efforts to Comply with New Carbon Emissions Standards

Need another reason (besides the economic, environmental and public health impacts) for why Ohio Senate Bill 310 – which freezes for two years the state’s requirements for investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy – is a terrible idea for Ohio? How about the fact that it hurts the Buckeye State’s ability to cost-effectively meet the newly proposed federal carbon standards for existing power plants. Read More

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EPA Carbon Standards Announcement: A Potential Climate Game Changer

Today I was fortunate to attend and hear EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy’s stirring speech announcing the EPA power plant carbon standards. And then dived into reading the 645-page rule plus numerous associated documents. I’m not quite done, but here are some first impressions.  The bottom line: the draft rule has many promising elements and there are opportunities to strengthen it as it moves toward finalization next June. Read More

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Court Protects California’s Largest Program for Clean Energy Research and Development

California’s track record as a leader for developing cutting-edge clean energy and energy savings technologies was not created overnight.  For over a decade, a nominal charge on monthly electricity bills has funded research and development efforts to bring technologies to the marketplace that have helped Californians save electricity (and money on our electricity bills) and improve the ways in which we generate electricity from renewable energy resources to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Read More

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How to Cut Power Plant Carbon by 50%: New EPA Climate Rules Can Create a Foundation for Real Global Warming Solutions

On Monday, June 2, the EPA is expected to release a draft standard to limit carbon emissions from existing fossil-fired (primarily coal and natural gas-fired) power plants. New UCS analysis shows that a strong standard provides an opportunity to cut our power sector emissions in half by 2030, with renewable energy and efficiency playing a significant role in driving the emissions reductions. Those reductions can be achieved cost-effectively and reliably by ramping up renewable energy and energy efficiency, with the overall benefits of a transition to cleaner energy far outweighing the costs. Read More

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