Laura Wisland

Senior analyst, Clean Energy

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Laura Wisland is a senior energy analyst and an expert on California renewable energy policies. She holds a master’s degree in public policy. See Laura's full bio.

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A grid operation control room. Photo: CAISO

Solar and Wind Need a Larger Electric Grid—and California Might Just Create One

Over the past decade, thousands of megawatts of clean renewable energy have been installed in the West thanks to the declining cost of wind and solar power and state policies like the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS). Since solar and wind power are by their nature intermittent, large quantities of weather-dependent generation require new solutions to maintain grid reliability while keeping costs low. Read more >

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An Unseasonably “Hot” February for California’s Clean Energy Landscape

Major policy action for California’s electricity sector mimics the seasons: winter is a relatively quiet, reflective time and major policy developments start to bud in the spring. But lately, the weather in California and electric sector policy developments seem unseasonably hot. For example, it’s currently 75 degrees outside my office in Oakland. And this post details some of the things happening in the policy world that also seem particularly “hot.” Read more >

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Photo: Audrey Eyring/UCS

Why the Solar Tariff Slows Clean Energy Progress and Hurts California Workers

Yesterday President Trump imposed a new tariff on imported solar photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules. More than 80% of all US solar installations rely on foreign solar modules, mostly from Asia.  The intent of President Trump’s tariff is purportedly to give made-in-the-U.S.A solar panels a boost and support U.S. solar manufacturers. The problem is, of the approximately 260,000 solar jobs in the country, only about 8,000 are in manufacturing. So increasing the cost of solar panels for the majority of U.S. solar companies will have a negative impact on workers that install, operate, and repair solar equipment. Read more >

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Image of California's Capitol Building
Photo: Henri Sivonen/CC BY (Flickr)

California’s 100% Clean Energy Bill Faces Setback—But Progress Continues

The California Legislature failed to bring Senate Bill 100 (De León) for a full vote on Friday. Had the bill, SB 100 (De León), passed and been signed into law it would have accelerated the state’s primary renewable energy program, known as the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS), by raising the current requirement from 50 to 60 percent by 2030. It also would have set an ambitious new policy for all electricity produced in the state to come from zero-carbon resources by 2045. Read more >

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Photo: Takeshi Kuboki/CC BY (Flickr)

The Solar Eclipse and Our Electricity Supply: Why We’ve Got This Covered

Is losing all that solar energy during the eclipse a big deal for the electricity grid? Turns out, no. Read more >

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