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
September 30th, 2014
To keep temperatures and sea level rise from ruining cities and lives, we need to rebuild our energy system. When we do this, we need to cut carbon emissions, build in savings, and strengthen energy reliability. Read More
September 24th, 2014
Ohio’s clean energy standards may never get the evidence and science-based review that was promised. Last week, Ohio senate president Keith Faber appointed outspoken opponents of renewable energy and energy efficiency to a committee supposedly intended to do an objective review of Ohio’s clean energy standards. Most disappointing is the inclusion of Senator Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), who has waged a biased and misleading campaign against Ohio’s clean energy standards for the past two years. Read More
September 17th, 2014
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
September 4th, 2014
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.
August 25th, 2014
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.
August 21st, 2014
August 20th, 2014
August 15th, 2014
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.
August 13th, 2014
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