Uncertainty is the New Normal
The novel coronavirus’s impact on our energy system is (understandably) not top of mind for most people right now. But the pandemic and its economic fallout have important implications for some of the most pressing energy issues today including the green transition, energy justice, and even the fate of bankrupt investor-owned utility PG&E in Northern …CONTINUE READING
Nuclear has some serious problems, but it may be worth hedging our technology bets.
Nuclear power has been an important source of zero-carbon energy, though it has been plagued by other problems. Does it have a future in our effort to decarbonize the grid? According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), a third of U.S. nuclear plants, or about twenty percent of the nation’s total nuclear capacity, are …CONTINUE READING
Pew published some intriguing polling results on energy issues just before Christmas. Americans have clearly noticed falling prices at the gas pump, but only half realize that U.S. oil and gas production has soared. So far, the changes haven’t affected policy views: a large majority favors expanding use of alternative energy, but solid majorities continue …CONTINUE READING
Last July, I reported on a conference convened at UCLA by California Governor Jerry Brown to further his efforts to increase the amount of local renewable electric generation in California to 12,000 megawatts of installed capacity by the year 2020. Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment provided the substantive support for that event, …CONTINUE READING
Rick recently pointed out the ironic timing of the tragic Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion. The news from the Gulf in the wake of that explosion just gets worse. The first report was that the well had sealed. Offshore wells have “blowout preventer” valves which are supposed to shut in the event of an emergency …CONTINUE READING
A shift to alternative forms of energy and away from conventional carbon-intensive fuels like coal forms the centerpiece of virtually all carbon-reducing strategies. 28 states have enacted mandatory renewable portfolio standards (RPS) (requiring their utilities to procure a set percentage of energy from alternative/renewable sources); the President’s stimulus package includes block grant money and tax …CONTINUE READING