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New Report: 10 States Making Things Particularly Difficult for Distributed Solar Power

Last fall, Environment America issued a report looking at the top ten states from a policy perspective for solar power growth as of 2014. Those states included Hawaii, Arizona, Nevada (note that this state's ranking almost certainly has fallen sharply in recent months -- see here for more), California, New Jersey, New Mexico, Vermont, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Colorado. These states made the top 10 due to strong policies in the areas of solar net metering, Renewable Portfolio Standards (many with solar "carve-outs"), PACE and other means of creative clean energy financing, etc.

Topics: Public Affairs

EARTH DAY: Ten Ways to Save Energy While Helping the Environment

From time to time, guest bloggers will contribute posts to Scaling Green, offering a practical take on energy and environmental topics. This post is by Megan Ray Nichols of the Schooled by Science blog.

Topics: Clean Economy

Clean Energy Industry Dodges Bullet in Supreme Court Ruling on Subsidizing Natural-Gas-Fired Power Plants

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in a case ("Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing, LLC") that could have had adverse implications for states wishing to promote clean energy development. Fortunately, that's not what happened. First, though, here's the gist of the decision by the Supreme Court.

Topics: Public Affairs

SunEdison Bankruptcy Doesn’t Change the Fact that the Solar Industry Boom is Just Getting Going!

Earlier today, SunEdison filed for bankruptcy, "as years of debt-fueled acquisitions proved unsustainable.” While unfortunate, it is important to emphasize that this bankruptcy — the result largely of financial missteps within this one specific company — is not a sign of broader problems in the solar power industry. Note that since the Solyndra non-scandal back in 2011, the solar industry has been growing like gangbusters, despite claims five years ago by clean energy critics that Solyndra was a sign of a failing sector. To the contrary, what we see today with the solar power industry is:

"A move to 100% renewable power is practical, achievable, economically sound and overwhelmingly popular."

The words in the headline are from a new report about moving rapidly to 100% clean energy in Australia, but they could apply just as well to the United States. Let's look at the key points of "The Homegrown Power Plan," keeping in mind that Australia at present is overwhelmingly powered by fossil fuels. In other words, if a rapid transition to 100% clean energy can be carried out in Australia, it certainly can happen here.

Topics: Clean Economy Marketing & Communications

Outgoing President of Shell Talks World Energy Shifts

The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School hosted Marvin Odum, outgoing president of Shell, for a discussion on how oil companies are dealing with the current low oil price environment and preparing for a "new normal" in the energy sector.

Michael Liebreich of BNEF Argues Persuasively that Bill Gates' Clean Energy "Miracle" Is Already Here

Last November, Bill Gates asserted: "we need innovation that gives us energy that’s cheaper than today’s hydrocarbon energy, that has zero CO2 emissions, and that’s as reliable as today’s overall energy system...we need an energy miracle."

Topics: Clean Economy

Lessons for the Clean Energy Industry from New Book on "How Propaganda Works"

The great folks at DeSmogBlog have yet another excellent piece up, this one looking at "How Propaganda (Actually) Works." Here's an excerpt, followed by a few possible lessons for the clean energy industry.

Topics: Marketing & Communications

Tim Worstall - "If we no longer need oil companies then let them fade away and redeploy their skills, capital and knowledge"

As clean energy booms and the dirty energy industry looks shakier and shakier, the question increasingly is becoming what will happen to heavily-subsidized-but-increasingly-obsolete fossil fuel companies? For instance, a recent article in Forbes discussed what it calls the "Very Odd Idea That Exxon Should Become A Renewable Energy Company." Under this proposal, big energy companies like ExxonMobil, "with their huge capital reserves and expertise in engineering and energy, could be perfectly positioned to take advantage of the changing landscape" in which "fossil fuel investment stagnates" while "clean energy industries such as wind and solar are booming." There are only a few problems with this idea, as Tim Worstall explains in Forbes.

Topics: Clean Economy