Trending Topics – Energy Efficiency’s Existential Crisis Is Also an Opportunity

A guest contributor for America’s Power Plan says creating portfolios of energy efficiency projects to deliver demand reductions where and when utilities need them can help keep pace with grid demand.

Statement On California Legislature’s Vote To Extend Cap-And-Trade System

California’s state legislature has reached an historic two-thirds majority vote to extend the state’s cap-and-trade program to 2030. This statement forecasts what impact extension will have on the state’s carbon market as well as environmental justice concerns, and can be attributed to Chris Busch, Director of Research at Energy Innovation.

Statement on legislation to extend California cap-and-trade system

California’s Governor Jerry Brown, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, and Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León have reached agreement on legislation to extend the state’s cap-and-trade program to 2030.  This statement forecasts what impact this achievement will have on the state’s carbon market, and can be attributed to Chris Busch, Director of Research at Energy Innovation. 

Hal Harvey’s Insights and Updates – Offshore wind: The next big thing in clean energy

Offshore wind, in contrast to the widespread cost declines and capacity additions we’ve seen with onshore wind and solar PV, has historically been more of a ‘boutique’ resource—a great idea in theory, but still expensive and concentrated in certain parts of the world. That is now changing, as offshore wind becomes mainstream for three reasons: location, advancing technology, and declining price.

Trending Topics – Mind the “storage” gap: how much flexibility do we need in a high renewables future?

Imagine that we have built enough wind and solar power plants to supply 100 percent of the electricity a region like California or Germany consumes in a year. Sure, the wind and sun aren’t always available, so this system would need flexible resources that can fill in the gaps. Filling this gap is one of the principal flexibility challenges of a low-carbon grid. But what will that flexibility cost?

As Trump Withdraws From Paris, America and the World Double Down on Decarbonization

Trump’s announcement that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Agreement is an unmatched abdication of climate responsibility. This decision needs to be kept in perspective, though. Important reactions and trends will continue to add momentum to decarbonizing the world.

Hal Harvey’s Insights and Updates – California cap-and-trade 2.0

California has the most successful carbon cap program in the world. Many state actors have expressed their support for the program’s extension to at least 2030. in order to serve its intended purpose of reducing emissions while generating revenue and accounting for disadvantaged communities, California’s next carbon cap program would benefit from four crucial elements: set price collars, intelligent use of auction revenues, clear strategy for disadvantaged communities, and constraints for carbon offsets.

Statement on California carbon auction results: Fundamentals drove demand rebound

Permit demand surged at California’s carbon allowance auction this month, in line with our prediction: 100 percent of current vintage allowances sold at the auction floor price of $13.80. The sale will raise upwards of $450 million dollars for the state’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. Today’s results underline the California carbon market’s core strength – fundamentally strong policy design.

Trending Topics – Secretary Perry, We Have Some Questions Too

In April, DOE Secretary Rick Perry issued a memorandum to his staff asking some pointed questions about the future of the electric grid as coal is retired off the system. By taking each premise in turn and providing evidence-based analysis, we can see that the projected demise of coal will result in a cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable energy system.

Hal Harvey’s Insights and Updates – Tipping Points for Clean Energy

New technology has tipping points—defined by functionality, consumer preference, and price. Clean energy is passing a huge one. It is now cheaper, in many parts of the country, to build a brand-new wind farm or solar plant than simply to pay the operating costs of coal, and sometimes even natural gas. That is the kind of tipping point worth paying attention to. There is clean energy, and cash, on the table—let’s use them to accelerate our low-carbon energy transition.