On Earth Day 2021, the Biden Administration announced its goal “to reach 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035”– but, until recently, no legislation had been passed to actually meet this target. This all started to shift in August 2021, when the Senate passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and then immediately advanced a $3.5 trillion budget resolution that will lay the framework for a reconciliation bill. So, what’s the status of these bills? And how will they advance the U.S.’s clean energy transition?Continue reading
Tag Archives: Energy Policy / Independence
What does the new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report mean for you?
On August 9, 2021, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the world’s largest report on climate change, which the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General called “a code red for humanity.” The report synthesized information from over 14,000 references to assess current impacts of climate change and future risks, both on global and regional scales. But why is this report so important and how could its findings impact you?Continue reading
What is the Green New Deal?
Seemingly out of nowhere, the bold new climate policy initiative everyone began talking about in 2019 was the Green New Deal. But what exactly is the Green New Deal, where did it come from, and what has caused it to gain so much traction?Continue reading
Low to moderate income community solar: what you need to know
For many electricity users across the country, rooftop solar panels don’t make sense – there are physical reasons (i.e. roof availability, home size), personal reasons (i.e. aesthetics), and financial reasons. Specifically for individuals who classify as “low to moderate income” (LMI), there are several reasons why community solar can be a great way to benefit from solar energy while not needing the traditional financial resources to install your own solar panels.Continue reading
Solar news: July 9th, 2021
In this week’s news roundup, we discuss an update to state solar incentives in New Jersey and the possibility for several new community solar projects in Louisiana.Continue reading
Solar news: June 25th, 2021
In this week’s news roundup, we discuss an important proposal in US regulatory policy towards solar and a new study on the cost of solar versus that of fossil fuelsContinue reading
Renewable portfolio standards explained
Following the 2018 elections, there was a flurry of state-level action on climate change and clean energy to begin the new year. Outside of proposals at the federal level for a Green New Deal, many states proposed and passed a suite of climate-related legislation, from emission reduction goals to clean energy procurement targets. Perhaps the most common policy instrument for growing clean energy at the state level is the renewable portfolio standard (RPS).Continue reading
Lithium mining in the United States: an industry in Nevada
Lithium, the lightest element of all the metals, is a crucial resource for the United States’ clean energy future: it’s key in the production of lithium ion rechargeable batteries, which are used to power electric vehicles and serve as home storage systems. While the U.S. is the largest consumer of lithium and will only increase its future consumption as it strives to meet the Biden Administration’s ambitious greenhouse gas emission targets, America’s domestic mining of lithium is limited to just one percent of annual global production.
Currently, only one lithium mine operates in the United States, the Silver Peak mine in Clayton Valley, Nevada; most of the global lithium supply is extracted in Chile and Australia. While some politicians are calling for increased domestic mining of the metal, at the end of May 2021, Reuters reported that the Biden Administration would supply the majority of lithium from ally countries, including Canada, Australia, and Brazil. Though this strategy may seem antithetical to the Administration’s clean energy jobs goals, it comes on the heels of many environmentalists’ concerns over two potential lithium mines in Nevada that could become operational in a few years. In this article, we’ll break down lithium mining and why these two mines are so controversial.Continue reading
Ethical sourcing of solar components
The solar industry is very much a part of the global economy: its supply chain traverses countries, oceans and continents, sourcing raw materials from certain regions, manufacturing products in others, and, ultimately, sending solar products to home and business owners everywhere. With how interconnected the solar industry is, it’s important to be cognizant of where and how solar equipment is sourced. In lieu of recent credible reports of human rights abuses and forced labor in parts of China that feed into the solar supply chain, it’s worth looking at how to ensure that the solar equipment you purchase is ethically and sustainably sourced.
Before digging into this, a quick note: allegations of human rights abuses and other unethical practices are an atypical topic area for us. After all, we write about clean energy, not issues of geopolitical intrigue. But we don’t take these reports of human rights violations and forced labor lightly, and we want to make sure you’re aware of this ongoing investigation and have options to ensure your solar equipment is ethically produced.Continue reading
Solar news: May 28th, 2021
In this week’s news roundup, we discuss an exciting new use for utility scale solar, and an important initiative by the Biden administration to help underserved communities gain access to solar power.Continue reading