The Perks of FERC’s Work

Last month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a ruling that could have a profound effect on the amount of small and medium-sized solar energy generation that states can achieve. Called “distributed generation” or “localized generation,” this type of renewable energy has tremendous potential to be generated from the rooftops of our existing buildings …


The Supreme Court Backs Off on Consumer Protection and (Maybe) the Environment

In a decision issued last week, the U.S. Supreme Court continued to chip away at consumer protections embedded in the Federal Power Act, and it is the environment that ultimately may take the biggest hit. First, let’s consider those consumer protections.  The Federal Power Act requires the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to ensure that …


Paying for Those Transmission Lines to Promote Renewable Energy

Even people who could not care less about renewable energy development have heard the plea: in order to deliver big bunches of power from central station renewable sources, we need lots of new transmission lines. If so, then who should put up the money to get the lines built? In a decision issued a few …


Sharing the Burden of New Transmission Lines to The Sun and the Wind

The sense of urgency for building new electric transmission lines to transport large quantities of solar and wind power has spurred a national debate about the proper role for the federal government and the states in siting those lines.  Although land use decisions such as these usually reside in the states, many worry that states …


A framework for offshore renewable energy

Cymie posted here about the hearings Interior recently held in on both coasts on offshore energy development of all stripes. True to the President’s commitment to making renewable energy development a priority, shortly after those hearings Interior’s Minerals Management Service finalized regulations governing renewable energy development on the outer continental shelf. The regulations, developed under …


Renewable Energy and Economic Stimulus: Better Luck This Time Around

The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, better known as the economic stimulus package, throws 11 billion dollars at infrastructure development to support renewable energy, particularly improvement and expansion of transmission grids.  It’s characterized as a win-win scenario, getting people back to work while smoothing the way for substantially less carbon-intensive energy generation.  That’s quite a …