renewable energy

(Energy) Independence Day

A post in which I surprise readers — and myself — with strong praise for George W. Bush.

The only way to achieve energy independence is to achieve independence from fossil fuels. That’s not something we can achieve overnight, but the closer we come, the better — for our health, our national security, and the world.

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Important Progress Toward a Climate-Ready Grid

New transmission is crucial. This is how FERC is starting to address the problem.

We urgently need more transmission to accommodate renewable energy, increased energy demand, and grid resilience to climate disasters. Yet the transmission approval process has been badly broken, often favoring small projects that plump up utility profits but do little to address longterm or regional transmission needs. Last week, the government took steps to improve permitting …

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Not All Community Benefits Are Created Equal

Technical Assistance for Underserved, Environmental Justice, and Tribal Communities Will Be Key to Ensuring Meaningful California Offshore Wind CBAs

CLEE has just released a new report, Offshore Wind & Community Benefits Agreements in California: CBA Examples, detailing the CBA and other community provisions in California’s offshore wind leases, as well as examples of CBA precursors and models from other industries. Read it here. As California offshore wind moves forward, there are opportunities for underserved, …

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Delivering Workforce Benefits in an Emerging Industry

Observations on the workforce development provisions in the California Energy Commission (CEC) draft Offshore Wind Strategic Plan

California’s offshore wind (OSW) industry is transitioning from planning to implementation in a statewide effort to deliver 2-5 GW clean energy by 2030. In support of this goal, the California Energy Commission (CEC) released a draft of its Assembly Bill 525 Offshore Wind Strategic Plan (the Plan). In a nascent industry with complex community interests …

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A New Strategic Plan for California Offshore Wind

The California Energy Commission has published a draft including strategies for impacted communities, but CBAs deserve more emphasis.

For those following offshore wind development in California, January 19, 2024, marked an important moment—the release of the long-awaited Draft Assembly Bill 525 Offshore Wind Strategic Plan from the California Energy Commission (CEC). Some important foundations for offshore wind, a new but growing industry in California, had already been laid. Assembly Bill 525 (AB 525, …

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Reviewing Agency Indecision

The Third Circuit straightens out a quirk in FERC law, to the benefit of renewable energy.

A case decided by the Third Circuit on Dec. 1 is important for two reasons. It clarifies a puzzling procedural rule applying to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). And it upholds an important policy shift regarding renewable energy by the country’s largest grid operator.  Since you’re probably more interested in the second point than …

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Reviewing Agency Indecision

The Third Circuit straightens out a quirk in FERC law, to the benefit of renewable energy.

A case decided by the Third Circuit last week is important for two reasons. It clarifies an important procedural issue applying to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). And it upholds an important policy shift regarding renewable energy by the country’s largest grid operator.  Since you’re probably more interested in the second point than the …

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Germany’s Role in Climate Policy

A short history of climate action in Europe’s economic powerhouse

We need to understand the history of climate action as we plan for the future. In terms of climate leadership, Americans tend to think of California. At the global level, however, Germany has its own claim to a leadership role, particularly in its early support for renewable energy. It has helped to shape EU climate …

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California Supreme Court Rules County Ordinance Limiting Oil & Gas Development Preempted by State Law

Monterey County Oilfield

Court Decision May Well Be Correct as a Matter of Law, But Represents Outdated & Unsound Public Policy

Last week, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a local initiative measure that would have imposed severe restrictions on oil and gas development in Monterey County is preempted by state law and therefore invalid.  The decision came in the case of Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. County of Monterey.  The Supreme Court’s ruling was predictable, …

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Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs) and Offshore Wind

Wind turbine installation in Colorado. Photo credit: Dennis Schroeder, NREL

Community Benefit Agreements (CBAs) can provide tools for California communities negotiating offshore wind development impacts

Offshore wind is one of many renewable industries taking off in California as the state accelerates infrastructure investment and development to meet its climate targets. The California Energy Commission has adopted planning goals of 2-5 GW of offshore wind (OSW) by 2030 and 25 GW by 2045. Other state goals include reducing greenhouse gas emissions …

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