The cold weather has pushed demand for energy very high. In our energy markets, demand rising faster than supply translates into higher prices. Electricity prices in the Mid-Atlantic and natural gas in the Northeast are showing this today, and this isn’t new or unique. Supplies to meet demand are limited by the capacity of the delivery systems. Read More
January 22nd, 2014
January 22nd, 2014
A new study looked at how well wind turbines and homes fit together in Massachusetts, and found no evidence that wind turbines affect property values. That finding is consistent with other recent work from a range of states across the country. And it’s good news for everybody wanting to get wind turbines sited responsibly, in the Bay State and beyond. Read More
January 14th, 2014
The use of coal to produce electricity in the United States has been declining in recent years. Yet for most states still heavily dependent on coal-fired power, the cost of importing coal continues to be a drain on local economies. According to a new Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) analysis, 37 states were net importers of coal in 2012, paying a total of $19.4 billion to import 433 million tons of coal from other states and even some foreign countries. Instead of sending billions of ratepayer dollars out of those states year after year, consumers would be better served by investing more in local renewable energy development and energy efficiency measures. Read More
January 6th, 2014
On January 5, “60 Minutes” included a story on “The Cleantech Crash,” claiming that investors, both private and government, haven’t gotten their money’s worth for all their investments in clean energy technology. As any rational look at the clean energy transition clearly reveals, the show got a few things right, but a whole lot more wrong.
December 19th, 2013
This week the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the restarting the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station, which has not run since the Missouri River flooded in June 2011. That flood reminded the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of the unmet safety needs of that plant, and helped the plant owner see the advantages of wind power. Read More
December 18th, 2013
Clean energy supporters in Ohio marked an important victory this month when Senate Bill 58 (SB58) — which would have gutted Ohio’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards and handed utilities potentially billions of dollars in undeserved profits — failed to come up for a vote in the Ohio Senate Public Utilities Committee. But clean energy opponents in Ohio are already planning their next rounds of misguided attacks. Read More
December 12th, 2013
The word is in from a year-long process to discuss Michigan’s energy future that included policy makers, a broad coalition of stakeholders, and thousands of state residents: Michigan should continue its commitment to renewable energy. Now it’s up to Governor Snyder to take action and put forth a legislative agenda that includes extending and strengthening Michigan renewable energy standard. Read More
December 10th, 2013
Part two of a three-part blog series.
Yesterday, we released an update of our 2012 Ripe for Retirement study that was published in the Electricity Journal, which analyzed the economic viability of updating the nation’s coal fleet compared to investing in cleaner alternatives. (For more details on the study, see this blog by my colleague Jeff Deyette.) Thanks to new technology developments that have lowered the costs of new wind projects and increased electricity production, our new analysis shows wind power could play an even greater role than natural gas in replacing existing coal plants. Read More
December 9th, 2013
This is Part One of a 3-Part Blog Series.
Today, the Union of Concerned Scientists released an update of our 2012 ground-breaking analysis, Ripe for Retirement, examining the economic viability of U.S. coal generators compared with modern, cleaner alternatives. Our new findings, published in Electricity Journal, show that nearly 59 gigawatts (GW) of coal power capacity are not cost competitive when compared with natural gas, and more than 71 GW are uneconomic when compared with wind power. These coal generators are prime candidates for retirement and their closure would provide substantial benefits for consumers and the environment. It would also accelerate the transition to a cleaner, more reliable and affordable energy system. Read More
December 2nd, 2013
A new, misleading report on wind power has emerged from the Institute for Energy Research. This small single-issue group has released an analysis of a single federal tax policy – the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) – and hidden an awful lot of relevant information in the process, including the group’s history of payments from fossil fuel interests and its distortions of renewable energy facts. Read More