wind power

Renewable Texas: Lessons from the Lonestar State

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 …

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Climate and Energy on the East Coast

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 …

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Will Renewable Energy Keep Getting Cheaper?

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 …

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A Mighty Wind

The Great Plains are wind power’s firewall of Republican support in Congress.

You might find this a bit surprising, but wind power has a solid political base in key Republican states. It’s a case of economics outweighing politics. Here are the top five states for wind power: Rank    State            Installed Capacity* 1          Texas             20,320 2          Iowa                …

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Is Texas Cleaning Up Its Act?

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 …

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What the Market Is Telling Us About Coal

Dump your coal stocks while you still can!

The market’s message is simple: coal’s day is ending. Three major coal companies (Alpha Natural Resources, Walter Energy, and Patriot Coal) have gone into bankruptcy. The two largest publicly traded  companies (Peabody and Arch) are now trading for a dollar a share, down from $16 and $33 within the past year. They, too, may well …

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If It Quacks Like a Duck: Intermittent Renewables and the Grid

At an energy policy conference that I attended on campus recently, one of the speakers asked how many people in the audience were familiar with the Duck Chart. As someone who tries to stay on top of things in the energy world, I was surprised by how many people raised a hand to express familiarity …

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More Idiocy from the Wall Street Journal Op-ed Page

A few years ago, a friend of mine suggested starting a blog entitled something like, “Why The Wall Street Journal Editorial Page Was Idiotic Today.”  You’d never run out of material for posts! Certainly that was the case today, as Senator Lamar Alexander and Representative Mike Pompeo, both Republicans, make a case against the wind …

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Exploring Policies to Promote Local Renewables

Last July, California Governor Jerry Brown held a conference, hosted by the Luskin Center at UCLA, to launch his initiative to achieve 12,000 megawatts of local renewable energy projects in California by 2020.  Local renewables, often called distributed generation, are projects no larger than 20 megawatts located close to customer demand. Berkeley Law’s Center for …

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Is USTR Trying to Increase China’s Carbon Emissions?

Our friends Daniel Firger and Michael Gerrard at Columbia Law School’s Center for Climate Change Law have written a useful new paper analyzing two important pending WTO climate cases.  Of these, the more important appears to be DS 419, in which the United States is challenging China’s wind energy subsidies. Firger and Gerrard note that …

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