Press Archive

Can the world meet Paris goals without the U.S.?

The United States no longer has a climate change target.

Roth: Syria, Nicaragua and Trump’s America

California is a beacon of hope for those in the climate-change-is-real category (and for those who want to see America continue to lead the world in innovation and environmental protection). And… let us not forget that some formidable American environmental accomplishments came at the hands of Republicans. “Everyone talks about red states and blue states,” said Hal Harvey, CEO of Energy Innovation, a San Francisco-based policy research group. “We really have to start talking about green states and brown states.”

Gov. Jerry Brown, America’s unofficial climate change ambassador in the Trump era, heads to China

As President Trump retreats from the nation’s previous path on environmental policy, Brown has the distinction of being America’s unofficial ambassador on climate change. “The reference point for China is not Washington, it’s California,” said Hal Harvey, who runs energy and environmental think tank Energy Innovation. “They would rather learn from California than any other jurisdiction.”

Q&A: Price floor key to California auction results

In this interview, Busch discusses the results from the recent California allowance auction and the future of the state’s cap-and-trade program. “The selling of the full amount of current vintage allowances that were offered was the outstanding feature of the results… The price floor has had a significant effect in rebalancing supply and demand. I would say it is safe to assume we are not going to see a return to the very low sales of the last year.”

Amid layoffs and bankruptcies, solar renegades turn to Trump to fight ‘China’

Suniva and SolarWorld want the government to take action against foreign companies — primarily Chinese companies — they say are exporting too many solar panel parts to the U.S.. Most likely, that action would be tariffs, which would in turn raise the prices of solar for businesses and homeowners.

California climate program has struggled. Why the billion-dollar rebound?

California’s market-based program for fighting climate change had struggled badly over the past year. On Wednesday, it bounced back sharply. “It’s a validation of the overall program,” said Chris Busch, who tracks the California carbon market for San Francisco think tank Energy Innovation.

California sees a rebound in cap-and-trade auction, bolstering key climate change program

State regulators announced strong results from California’s cap-and-trade program on Wednesday. That’s a shift from other recent auctions, where most of the permits went unsold. But rules governing how the market for permits operates are helping to stabilize the system, said Chris Busch, research director at Energy Innovation. He called it “a triumph of policy design.”

Demand Rebounds for California Pollution Permits

Demand for California pollution permits rebounded in the first quarterly auction since an appeals court upheld the program. The California Air Resources Board reported that it sold out of permits to release greenhouse gases during 2017 or later. The demand exceeded the total supply for the first time since 2015, pushing prices above the minimum.

The Power Of Fundamentals: Why CA’s Carbon Allowance Auction Will Rebound

California’s carbon market should receive a boost when the California Air Resources Board (CARB) releases its latest quarterly auction results on Wednesday, May 24th. Despite these headwinds, we expect 50-65 million allowances (or between 67- 80%) of the 75 million current vintage offered will have sold at auction.

The state of US wholesale power markets: Is reliability at risk from low prices?

Reactions at FERC’s technical conference in early May show electricity generators are concerned about falling revenues making their power plants uneconomic and are looking for market modifications to remedy this situation. In the first part of a three-part guest post series Robbie Orvis explores why generator revenues are shrinking and how the decline isn’t a problem for reliability.

Secretary Perry, We Have Some Questions for You Too

In April, Department Of Energy Secretary Rick Perry issued a memorandum to his staff asking pointed questions about the future of the electric grid as coal is retired off the system. DOE’s publication of this memorandum presents an opportunity to uncover many outdated assumptions about grid reliability and understand what’s driving the unstoppable transition from coal to other technologies.

Embracing The Coal Closure Trend: Economic Solutions For Utilities Facing A Crossroads

Utilities across the United States continue to announce coal plant closures and reaffirm previous plans to remove coal from their generation fleets. What’s behind this trend? And how can U.S. utilities profitably transition themselves and affected coal communities to a 21st century generation mix?

Brown heading to China to promote climate policies

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) is going to China early next month to drum up support for climate and clean energy policies as well as general trade cooperation. “We should expect to see more action this year,” said Chris Busch, research director with advisory firm Energy Innovation, who was in Beijing in March with Stanford University economist Larry Goulder. “[China’s] looking at this as an opportunity for international leadership…”

California governor wants cap-and-trade deal by June

California governor Jerry Brown (D) says there is a “very good chance” state lawmakers will pass legislation next month to extend the state’s greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program. Now is the right time for Brown to make a strong push, according to Chris Busch, research director at the clean energy advisory firm Energy Innovation.

America’s Renewable Electricity Forecast Grows To 2050, Even Under Trump

The Trump Administration is attempting to alter America’s energy landscape. Energy Innovation used the Energy Policy Simulator (EPS) to forecast wind and solar capacity additions to 2050 under three scenarios: a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario, a low natural gas price scenario, and a solar import tariff scenario.

Offset providers say new carbon-pricing bill is ‘horrific’

The carbon offset industry is reeling from a new proposal by California lawmakers that would shut them out of the state’s carbon market after 2020. “SB 775 has a more direct form of cost containment, a true price ceiling… I would argue it is a bigger matter of concern for international or out-of-state-offset developers.” Chris Busch, research director with advisory firm Energy Innovation, said in an email.

Trump: Crazy Like a Fox, or Just Crazy?

In his first 100 days, allies and adversaries saved Trump and the country from some of his most extreme, ill-considered campaign promises. As for the next 100 days, who will protect us? On the issues I care about most, I’m actually counting on California.

Carbon Capture And Storage: An Expensive Option For Reducing U.S. CO2 Emissions

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) has gained support in Congress as an answer to reducing emissions in the power sector – but it’s the most expensive option available. Our analysis shows coal plants equipped with CCS are nearly three times more expensive than onshore wind power and more than twice as expensive as solar photovoltaics (PV).

Senate leader proposes big changes to carbon-pricing program

Top California lawmakers moved yesterday to overhaul the state’s cap-and-trade system to send revenue back to residents as a “climate dividend.” State Sen. Bob Wieckowski (D) introduced the legislation, which would launch a new carbon-trading program in 2021.

Bill that would ease retirement of coal plants passes Colorado House but faces tougher path in Senate

A bill that would make it easier to decommission aging coal plants in the state, while also assisting rural communities hurt by any closures, won approval Monday in the Colorado House of Representatives. But support for the measure split along party lines, increasing the odds that House Bill 17-1339 will find itself stranded in the Republican-controlled Senate.