In many ways, the Keystone State is the epicenter of the energy transition underway in this country. Historically an important coal producer, Pennsylvania remains the fifth largest coal-producing state, accounting for 5 percent of the nation’s total coal production in 2013. And the state is on the front lines of the booming Marcellus shale gas production. But how far along is the state in transitioning to cleaner energy, and how much farther could it go in developing renewables? Read More
February 12th, 2015
Debunking an Attack on Energy Efficiency and the Clean Power Plan: NERA Study Falsely Inflates Costs
November 14th, 2014
A recent study conducted by NERA Economic Consulting — funded in part by fossil fuel industry trade groups — falsely inflates the cost of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan by denying energy efficiency’s proven ability to save consumers money. Here’s what they got wrong, and why it matters. Read More
November 6th, 2014
What should we think when two grid reliability authorities look at large-scale adoption of renewable energy and come to opposite conclusions? This isn’t pretty and we need to get to the bottom of it. Read More
November 5th, 2014
The future keeps changing! Banks are telling us that solar energy is becoming mainstream.
UCS projects that for more than half of the states in the U.S., solar power on your roof is going to be cheaper than the price of electricity delivered by the utility company. Deutsche Bank reports the number will be 36 states in 2016, or 47 states if federal tax credits continue as they are today. Read More
The EPA Clean Power Plan: Virginia State Corporation Commission Gets it Wrong. Virginia Is on Track to Meet Its Goals.
October 27th, 2014
In recent comments to the EPA, the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) took an extremely pessimistic and inaccurate view of the state’s ability to join a 21st century clean energy economy, claiming it could only do so at a high cost to electricity consumers. In fact, the Commonwealth is well on track to meet its goals under the Clean Power Plan (CPP), affordably and reliably. A majority of its electricity already comes from lower-carbon energy sources like nuclear, natural gas, and renewable energy. Read More
October 22nd, 2014
October 14th, 2014
UCS released a new analysis today showing that strengthening the contribution from renewable energy can significantly increase the emissions reductions from the EPA’s 2014 Clean Power Plan. We found that increasing non-hydro renewable energy sources from about 6 percent of U.S. electricity sales today to 23 percent by 2030—or nearly twice as much renewable energy as the EPA proposed—could raise the reductions in U.S. power plant carbon emissions from the EPA’s estimated 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 to 40 percent. We also found that increasing renewables to these levels is affordable, resulting in little impact on electricity prices and lowering natural gas prices for both utilities and consumers. Read More
October 14th, 2014
Today, UCS unveiled a proposal to strengthen a laudable but modest U.S. EPA rule to cut carbon dioxide emissions from our nation’s power plants by increasing renewable energy use.
We make this proposal because of the urgent need to dramatically lower the emissions of this heat trapping gas, and because power plants are 40 percent of the problem and offer the most cost-effective option we have to cut carbon. Implementing our approach to expand the role of renewable energy could increase total power sector carbon reductions under the rule to nearly 40 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, or 220 million metric tons more reduction than proposed by the EPA. Read More
House Testimony: Renewable Electricity Standards are Delivering Significant Economic Benefits Across the United States
August 1st, 2014
Last week, I was invited to testify at the U.S. House of Representative’s Energy and Commerce Committee, Energy and Power Subcommittee’s hearing on “Laboratories of Democracy: The Economic Impacts of State Energy Policies.” My remarks focused on the tremendous success story of state renewable electricity standards (RES) and the important economic benefits they are delivering to state and local economies, as described in more detail in this 2013 UCS report. Read More
July 30th, 2014
A hot chase over models began soon after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released draft CO2 rules June 2. Reducing CO2 (carbon-dioxide, the climate-altering pollution) in the electricity sector is not a mystery, but expecting too much from a model can be frustrating. With the CO2 rules, we have entered a new era, triggering a great clamoring amongst policymakers and advocates to get comfortable with the models. Temperatures are rising, and it is not just the hot summer weather. Read More