solar energy

Climate Policy and the Audacity of Hope

The barriers are still huge — but we can also envision a path to success.

We should resist the allure of easy optimism about climate change, given the scale of the challenges. Neither should we wallow in despair. There’s a good basis for hope. Let’s seize the day!

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DeSantis and the Environment      

A Little Bit of Nepotism and a Lot of Everglades Protection.

Compared to Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis is practically a Greta Thunberg on environmental issues.  Of course, by the same token, I’m practically a Steph Curry on the court compared to Danny DeVito. Sarcasm aside, DeSantis is pretty good on environmental issues for a Republican. But he rarely mentions climate change, and his record on renewable …

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A Great Day for Climate Policy

A short video explainer of why passage of the IRA bill is such a big deal.

We all have something to celebrate with the House passage of the IRA on Friday. Getting it passed required some difficult compromises, but the bill represents a major step forward.  Because of the Mar-a-Lago search, it hasn’t gotten nearly as much attention as it deserves. If you don’t have time for a lot of details, …

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Why Energy Conservation Will Remain Crucial

Even after switching to clean power, we’ll still need to limit energy use.

If we switch to renewables, we won’t need to worry about saving energy. Right? Wrong! One reason to save energy is to limit carbon emissions from the energy we  use. That’s going to important until the energy system has been completely cleaned up. But energy conservation is important for reasons that go beyond the direct …

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Renewable Energy in the Southwest

Despite Trump, the needle has kept moving in the right direction.

The sun is intense in the desert Southwest.  During the Trump years, the federal government has hard worked to promote fossil fuels. Trump also has been no friend of renewable energy. This has not stopped progress toward a cleaner energy mix in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. Arizona Arizona’s current power mix is about …

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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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