solar energy

New Report: Improving Landscape-Level Planning for Solar PV Development

New UC Berkeley/UCLA Law report details policy changes to help achieve new SB 100 renewable energy goals

A new report from UC Berkeley and UCLA Schools of Law, A New Solar Landscape, identifies key reforms for California to enact at the state, regional, and local level to increase the pace and optimal siting of utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) development. With the passage of SB 100 (de León, 2018), California now requires electric …

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Trump’s Contradictory Policies

Trump’s policies clash with each other remarkably often.

A certain amount of policy inconsistency is inevitable in any Administration. But the Trump Administration seems to be breaking all records.  The Administration does have strong impulses. The trouble is that its goals keep colliding.  Here are some examples. Favoring gas at the expense of coal. . .  And vice versa. Trump wants to promote …

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California’s New Rooftop Solar Mandate

The California Energy Commission’s new mandate receives mixed reviews.

The recent decision of the California Energy Commission to require the inclusion of rooftop solar photovoltaics on most new homes has engendered praise from some quarters, and criticism from others. Some see this new policy as a positive force, helping to reduce the cost of solar and contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. …

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Bringing South Carolina into the Sunshine

A dedicated state legislator, against the odds, opened the door to solar energy in the Palmetto State.

Solar energy is poised to make an appearance in the state, in good part due to the efforts of a single Republican state legislator. That will be a big change: South Carolina has had essentially no wind or solar power, although nuclear accounts for half of its electricity. The state senator, Chauncey (“Greg”) Gregory, hails …

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‘Let the Sunshine In’: The Fight for Solar in the Tar Heel State

Despite utility opposition and conservative state legislature, the law is slowly shifting toward solar energy.

In North Carolina, renewable energy is more a distant dream than a reality. The state has a modest renewable portfolio standard (10-12% by 2018 or 2021, depending on the utility). Right now, the state is at only about 7%, with the remainder split more or less equally between coal, gas and nuclear. It has old-fashioned …

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Florida’s Retro Energy Policy

It may be called the Sunshine State, but you wouldn’t know that from the lack of solar.

Florida is the paradigm of the ostrich with its head in the sand. It may be the most vulnerable state to climate change. Yet, the state government is assiduously ignoring the problem though some cities and counties and South Florida are keenly aware of the risks. Even after Hurricane Irma, the governor still professed complete …

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Renewables and Republicans in the Rustbelt

Republican Governors in Ohio and Michigan have given support to renewables. Indiana, not so much.

When people think of the rustbelt, they think of places like Cleveland, Gary, and Detroit.  Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan form a cluster of states under solid Republican control, Republicans controlling the governor’s mansion and both houses of the legislature. All three states went for Trump, with varying margins. The three states also have commonalities in …

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Solar Plus Storage May Be a Good Deal for Some

One company says that photovoltaics with battery storage are cost-competitive for some businesses now.

A battery company called Coda Energy says that a combination of solar photovoltaics and onsite storage can be cost-competitive with utility electric service for some larger customers. That is according to an online article on greentechgrid. Solar is still a more expensive option for power production than fuels such as natural gas, and various energy …

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Getting Permission to Go Solar

Last summer, Berkeley’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) issued a report, at the request of Governor Jerry Brown, identifying barriers to the accelerated deployment of “distributed” renewable energy projects. This document was the result of a stakeholder conference hosted by the Governor, located on campus at UCLA, and substantively managed by Berkeley …

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Guest Blogger Ken Alex: California’s Road to 2020 and Beyond

Ken Alex is a Senior Advisor to Governor Jerry Brown and the Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research.  The views expressed in this blog post are his own. Four years ago, when I was the head of the Attorney General’s environment section,  I wrote a series of guest blogs for Legal Planet …

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