Archive Category : Commentary: Commentary Previously Published By Others

California Energy Dreaming Costs Consumers Billions

I have a friend who periodically gets into trouble. Whenever we review the history of an episode, his explanation is always the same: “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” Such hindsight leaps to mind as California lawmakers once again overhaul the state’s electricity industry. History suggests that consumers will pay dearly to see how this movie ends, regardless of whether the result justifies the price of admission. Read More →

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California’s desert deserves permanent protection

After more than six years of analysis, debate and draft proposals, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is close to issuing its final plan for nearly 10 million acres that it controls in the California desert, designating sections for recreation, industry, conservation and renewable energy production. If its most recent “preferred option” prevails, this will be a strong blueprint for the future, protecting the desert’s most pristine and environmentally significant land while making good use of perhaps its best natural resource — abundant sun for solar energy. Read More →

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Op-ed: The end of coal is near

We are witnessing the end of an era. Coal is fast becoming the telegraph to renewable energy’s Internet. American coal stocks are undergoing the most precipitous decline in the history of the energy industry. Read More →

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Timing is Everything: How California is Getting Electricity Pricing Right and Bringing Clean Power to the People

Anybody managing a household budget knows it pays to plan ahead. With advanced thinking we can buy favorite items with coupons, when they’re on sale, in bulk, or at the cheapest store in the area. Using the same smart shopper skills, new changes to the way utilities charge for electricity are going to give Californians another way to save money on energy bills. Read More →

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Solar Desalination Could be a Game Changer for California Farms

Let’s be clear from the outset: I’m no fan of conventional desalination. But now desalination of a very different stripe is under way – not by the sea, but in California’s drought-stricken Central Valley farming region. The project is turning salty, contaminated agricultural drainage into fresh water that can be re-used to irrigate crops. Powered not by fossil fuels, but by the sun, the technology has the potential to shift the way water is used and managed in parts of the west, where agriculture accounts for 70-80 percent of water use. Read More →

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Opinion: Apple, Tesla and Why We Need to Take Solar Seriously

The solar industry is hot on the public’s radar thanks to recent announcements from Apple and Tesla confirming they have some major solar projects in the works. If solar wants to stay at the forefront of public consciousness, it’s crucial to understand what the major players are doing (and why) and what it means for the future of the industry. Read More →

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US Solar Electricity Production 50% Higher Than Previously Thought

Renewable energy’s share of our overall energy mix is at the highest level in over 70 years — even with the drought-induced decline in Western hydropower output. In California, increasing solar power generation made up for the shortfall in hydropower production. In fact, solar production was up so much that California became the first state to get more that 5 percent of its electricity from utility solar. Read More →

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How will the state get 50% of its energy from ‘renewable resources’ by 2050?

ClimateWire: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 Gov. Jerry Brown (D) received plenty of early support for his proposal, in his Jan. Read More →

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Capital Insider: Good News and Bad News on Community Solar.

Good news and bad news on community solar. The CPUC issued a decision last week, so developers will soon have Read More →

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