Texas is firmly in the grip of conservative Republicans. So what’s the deal with renewables?
I sometimes ask students to guess what state produces the most wind power. They’re always shocked to find out the right answer: Texas. Republicans have an iron grip on Texas government. And not just that, but Texas is by far the biggest producer of oil, with a governor who has pledged to protect the industry …CONTINUE READING
A major, bipartisan step forward in an unlikely state.
Last week, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed an important piece of climate legislation. I wrote last month about major, bipartisan climate legislation in Illinois. Like the Illinois law, the North Carolina law enjoyed broad bipartisan support. The North Carolina legislature is under firm Republican. Nevertheless, the bill passed the state senate by a 42 …CONTINUE READING
Texas has the most wind power in the country and is rapidly building solar. How did that happen?
People are often surprised to learn that Texas is the national leader in wind power, with the twice the generating capacity of any other state. On one notable night in December of 2015, the state got 45% of its power from wind, though the year-round average was only about 10%. In July of this year, the …CONTINUE READING
Slowly, and a bit grudgingly, the Old South is moving toward solar.
Southern states like to brag about their sunny weather. Florida even calls itself the Sunshine State. Yet the region lags well behind in terms of putting that sunshine to work. But it appears that change is coming. Solar generating capacity in the Southeast is expected to nearly double over the next three years, though from …CONTINUE READING
Renewable energy and climate action are big issues in NY and NJ.
New York and New Jersey are at the core of what people think about in terms of the “Northeast.” Both are very active in promoting renewable energy — New Jersey despite Governor Chris Christie, New York in part because of Governor Cuomo. New York in particular seems ready to position itself as the East Coast …CONTINUE READING
Technological and economic forces will continue to cut prices, regardless of Trump.
The Trump Administration is trying to save coal and stop the growth of renewables. Just this week Scott Pruitt issued a proposed repeal of Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Whether or not the repeal succeeds, Pruitt & Co. are fighting against the economic tide. If the price of renewables continues to fall, it will be harder …CONTINUE READING
Carbon emissions are set in decline in Texas, with less coal and more renewables.
At a national meeting of state utility regulators, the head of the group recently said that the Clean Power Plan was basically dead, BUT this might not matter because “arguably, you’re seeing market-based decarbonization” due to technological changes. Case in point: Texas. Market trends are pushing Republican-stronghold Texas toward a cleaner grid. ERCOT, which operates nearly all …CONTINUE READING
The rising political power of residential solar power
There’s a fight over renewable energy occurring in Arizona right now. The state’s largest public utility asked state regulators for permission to greatly increase the fees paid by homeowners who have solar power on their houses. The utility’s argument is that the increase in solar power produced by these houses is putting a burden on …CONTINUE READING
If you are looking for a politically progressive city, Lancaster, California would not make it on your list. Located in the deeply conservative Antelope Valley of north Los Angeles County, it has attracted attention by, inter alia, 1) electing Pete Knight, one of the most vicious anti-gay politicians in the country, to a series of state …CONTINUE READING
A new report illuminates the role of the stimulus package in energizing Clean Tech. Three of the four areas discussed in the report fall into this category; the fourth relates to medical research. 1. Modernizing transportation, including advanced vehicle technology and high-speed rail. Among other things, this includes $2 billion in advanced battery and electric …CONTINUE READING