Renewable energy


Polar Vortex Returns. Will Wind Energy Be Left Out in the Cold?

, senior energy analyst, Climate & Energy Program

The Polar Vortex in 2014 revealed issues with over-reliance on natural gas  and under-appreciation of wind and customer demand response. The Union of Concerned Scientists is pushing to correct mistakes when made when the low price of natural gas for most of the year fooled a lot of people who should know better. Assumptions that natural gas would be just as available in a cold snap as in mild weather created havoc with electric power plants that rely, perhaps over-rely, on natural gas when the cold snap came. Read more >

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Clean energy financing programs could support deployment of solar energy projects, such as this community solar farm in Edgecomb, Maine (ReVision Energy).

A Powerful Investment: Clean Energy Financing in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont

, director of energy research, Clean Energy

These three states could leverage $35 million of public funds into a $748 million investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects over the next 15 years. Read more >

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Eyes on the Solar Photovoltaic Revolution: 35 Years in a Front-Row Seat

Howard Branz, , UCS

When I got into solar energy research in 1981, I wanted to change the world. I worried to my father that I’d never see widespread use of solar energy in my lifetime. That made him worry, too—about my future job prospects. As it turned out, there were plenty of jobs and I got to play my part in the history of human technology. I was one of a dedicated legion of scientists, engineers, technicians, laboratories and companies who eventually made photovoltaic cells into a commodity product: durable panels that achieve a miraculous-seeming conversion of sunlight to electricity, without needing any moving parts.

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Michigan’s Proposed Clean Energy Overhaul

, senior energy analyst

On November 10th the Michigan Senate passed legislation (Senate bills 437 and 438) to overhaul how the state’s utilities are regulated. It’s been more than two years in the making, and the legislation touches on a wide range of issues that will impact the role of clean energy in meeting Michigan’s energy future, including how to handle the growth in rooftop solar and updating the state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards. Read more >

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Installing solar panels in PA

The Clean Power Plan’s Clean Energy Incentive Program

, lead economist and climate policy manager

Today is the comment deadline for the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP), a voluntary component of the Clean Power Plan. The program encourages early investments in renewable energy and targeted investments in efficiency and renewables in low-income communities. In our comments, we urge every state to join the program and take advantage of the CEIP’s incentives, and also offer the EPA some recommendations to help improve it. Read more >

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