Energy

The US electricity system is undergoing a transformation that’ll change how energy is produced and used for decades. Our experts bring you the latest news and analysis on that transformation, including its opportunities, benefits, and challenges.


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For Washington Voters, I-1631 is a Chance to Tackle Climate Change Head On

, Energy analyst

The magnitude of the climate challenge is daunting; a constellation of causes and impacts, promising no simple fix. But a new proposal in Washington state has identified a powerful place to start. I-1631, on the ballot this November, is grounded in the reality that to truly address climate change today, it’s simply no longer enough to drive down carbon emissions—communities must now also be readied for climate impacts, including those already at hand, and all those still to come. Read more >

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Photo: Daniels, Gene/ The U.S. National Archives

Trump Administration Takes Aim at Public Health Protections

, Energy analyst

In a new regulatory effort, the Trump Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claims to be working to increase consistency and transparency in how it considers costs and benefits in the rulemaking process. Don’t be fooled. Under the cover of these anodyne goals, the agency is in fact trying to pursue something far more nefarious. Indeed, what the EPA is actually working to do is formalize a process whereby the decision of whether or not to go ahead with a rule is permanently tilted in industry’s favor. How? By slashing away at what the agency can count as “benefits,” resulting in a full-on broadside to public health. Read more >

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Photo: UniEnergy Technologies/Wikimedia

What’s New with NextGrid?

, policy analyst, Clean Energy

Last year, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) launched NextGrid,  a collaboration between key stakeholders to create a shared base of information on electric utility industry issues and opportunities around grid modernization. NextGrid is the Illinois Utility of the Future Study, which is being managed by the University of Illinois and consists of seven working groups comprised of subject matter experts, utilities, business interests, and environmental organizations. The Union of Concerned Scientists is a member of two of these working groups.

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Photo: UniEnergy Technologies/Wikimedia
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Photo: Johanna Montoya/Unsplash

Hitting 1 Trillion. Think Clean Electrons, Not Stylish Electronics

, senior energy analyst, Clean Energy

You may have heard that Apple just passed the $1 trillion mark in terms of its market capitalization, the first company ever to reach those lofty heights. Less ink has been spilled on a different 1 trillion figure, but it’s one that’s well worth noting, too. According to Bloomberg NEF (BNEF), we just shot past the headline-worthy figure of 1 trillion watts (that is, 1 million megawatts, or 1,000 gigawatts) of wind turbines and solar panels worldwide. And you can bet there’ll be another trillion watts right behind.

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Photo: Johanna Montoya/Unsplash
Photo: PublicSource
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Photo: Greg Goebel/Wikimedia Commons

Rick Perry Rejects Facts in Favor of Coal and Nuclear Bailouts

, senior energy analyst

Much has been written on coal and coal miners since the president began campaigning in earnest in 2016. The president continues to push for a misguided federal bailout of the coal industry—a blatant political payoff to campaign donors using taxpayer money with no long-term solutions for coal workers. As is typical with this administration, substance and science and evidence are inconsequential compared to ideology, and their attempts to bail out money-losing coal and nuclear plants are no exception. Here’s a quick take on how we got here and what to expect next. Read more >

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