We are on the verge of another transition in how we supply energy to the modern economy. Economics and advances in renewable energy show we can adapt to a series of emissions control requirements affecting coal plants. But a new study of the EPA’s carbon policy excludes these lessons, and assumes the worst behavior of plant owners and state officials to paint an overly pessimistic view of how this transition will impact the reliability of our energy supply. Read More
Another Misleading Study on the Clean Power Plan: NERC Distorts Reality with False Premise and Assumptions
April 17th, 2015
April 13th, 2015
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration is about to publish its annual best guess as to what the future will hold, energy-wise. But if the past is any guide, their best guess is likely to lowball renewable energy’s potential contribution. That has real implications for our nation’s efforts to tackle climate change. Here’s what to watch for when the 2015 Annual Energy Outlook comes out, and why it matters. Read More
March 30th, 2015
The debate over reliability and the costs of reducing carbon pollution comes to St. Louis with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) holding a technical conference on the electricity grid with the EPA carbon pollution rules. Folks looking at this debate should consider three reasons why the central U.S. has great opportunities to reduce carbon pollution: Read More
March 18th, 2015
I’ve blogged many times about the clean energy policies California has in place that have made it a leader. The state is well on its way to supplying 33 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and now, in a visionary step to dramatically reduce global warming emissions, is considering ways to increase that amount to 50 percent by 2030. Read More
March 10th, 2015
Many U.S. electric utilities are doubling down on natural gas to generate power as they retire aging and polluting coal plants. While this unprecedented shift does provides some near-term benefits, dramatically expanding our use of natural gas to generate electricity is an ill-advised gamble that poses complex economic, public health, and climate risks. Read More
March 3rd, 2015
Today, in his first budget address as Governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf proposed $325 million in investments in the state’s energy sector, including significant investments in wind, solar, and energy efficiency. This proposal is part of an overall economic development plan aimed at investing in education and creating high-paying jobs across the Commonwealth. What does it mean? Read More
February 26th, 2015
For many years, small farmers in developing countries have been blamed for deforestation because of the way that they make breakfast. While in developed countries nearly everyone cooks with fossil fuels, or with electricity generated by fossil fuels or hydroelectricity, in developing countries firewood still predominates, especially among the poorest people in rural areas. But is this really an important driver of deforestation—and thus a major contributor to global warming? A new study—the most in-depth and comprehensive look at the subject yet—says no.
February 25th, 2015
UPDATE: (March 3, 11 a.m.): Good news! Yesterday, the Colorado House of Representative’s State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee voted against the proposed rollback of the state’s renewable energy standard, effectively killing SB 44 for the 2015 legislative session. This is yet another defeat for fossil fuel interests who do not want to compete with renewables on a more level playing field.
On February 5th, state Senate Republicans passed a bill to roll back Colorado’s renewable energy standard (RES), which has helped make the state a national leader in clean energy. Rolling back the RES is precisely the wrong direction for Colorado to go at this time. In addition to providing important benefits to Colorado’s economy, increasing renewable energy use is one of the most cost-effective strategies for complying with the EPA’s proposed power plant carbon standards. Read More
February 13th, 2015
Winter has a way of showing what engineers describe as margins for error, and contingencies or unexpected events. When the snow on the road makes your car slide before coming to a stop, you lower your driving speed and increase the distance between you and the car in front of you. Read More
February 5th, 2015
Florida has been on my mind lately, as storm after storm has piled the snow up outside my door and relatives have called from the Sunshine State to report on the (rather higher) temperatures they’re experiencing. But the state has also been attracting attention with its electric sector moves—some positive, some less so.
When it comes to electricity, the Sunshine State is still far short of living up to its clean energy potential. Here’s how and why decision makers should fix that. Read More