wind 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!


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 …


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 …


Tillerson and Perry – It’s Complicated

They’re not as bad as you might think. Relatively speaking.

The immediate environmentalist reaction to Rex Tillerson and Rick Perry — Trump’s choices to run the Departments of State and Energy — is that these are disastrous choices, like Trump’s selection of climate change denier Scott Pruitt to run EPA.  That’s understandable.  After all, Tillerson is the CEO of Exxon. As to Perry, the Washington Post headline says …


Subsidizing Fossil Fuels While the Wind Sector Bleeds Jobs

Yesterday, Jonathan Zasloff wrote a post on Senator Alexander and Representative Mike Pompeo’s Wall Street Journal op-ed opposing the wind energy tax credit, which is set to expire at the end of 2012 barring Congressional action.  Yesterday’s post raised the question of how traditional fossil fuel subsidies compare to renewable energy subsidies. A 2009 Environmental …


Mitt Romney, Prisoner of the Tea Party

Just about any electoral map will tell you that Iowa is a swing state, and that Mitt Romney needs to win it if he hopes to capture the Presidency. Just about any political observer in Iowa will tell you that the wind energy tax credit, enacted as part of President Obama’s stimulus package (but with …


A New Report on the Governor’s Local Renewable Energy Initiative

Last July, I reported on a conference convened at UCLA by California Governor Jerry Brown to further his efforts to increase the amount of local renewable electric generation in California to 12,000 megawatts of installed capacity by the year 2020. Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment provided the substantive support for that event, …


Jerry Brown’s Push for Local Renewable Power

Local renewables – those photovoltaics, small wind turbines, etc. on people’s roofs, and in public spaces close to demand – how big of a role can they play in our renewable energy future? Berkeley and UCLA law schools wrote about that topic in In Our Backyard, and California’s Governor Jerry Brown made this question a …


Energy storage is key to the success of renewables in California

UPDATE: The bill summary linked below from the California Energy Storage Alliance actually summarizes a former version of the bill.  The current bill version, linked below and here, is the best source now.  The current version imposes no percentage mandate on utilities.  Thanks to Ethan Elkind for pointing that out. UCLA Law and Berkeley Law recently …


China, Energy and the Economy

The New York Times reported — with seeming alarm — this weekend that China is now leading the world in the manufacture of wind turbines and solar panels.  Yet shouldn’t we view this news as good for efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?  Action by the U.S. to reduce emissions, while absolutely necessary for geopolitical …