Frank Talk: Pope Francis Calls for Bold Actions Against “Culture of Waste” at United Nations

In his address to the United Nations, Pope Francis focused on a variety of issues, but paid special attention to the ecological crisis. He stated, “The ecological crisis along, with the large-scale destruction of biodiversity, can threaten the very existence of the human species.” As with his environmental encyclical, Laudato Si, Pope Francis linked the interdependence of humanity with nature (which he frequently referred to as “Creation”). As he put it, “Any harm done to the environment is harm done to humanity.” The harm caused to the environment, as well as to humanity, is a symptom of a “Culture of Waste”, another theme found in Laudato Si stated as a “Throwaway Culture.”

Frank Talk: Pope Francis Calls for “Courageous Actions” on Poverty, Environment

Noticeably absent, Pope Francis did not mention the term “climate change” or “global warming”. But his reference to Laudato Si, which heavily speaks about environmental degradation including climate change, is a nod towards the issue.

How Do I Go Solar?

This is a guest post by John Rogers, senior energy analyst for the Union of Concerned Scientists. John has expertise in renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and policies, and he co-manages the Energy and Water in a Warming World Initiative (EW3) at UCS that looks at water demands of energy production in the context [...]

5 Reasons Utilities Are Hating on Their Solar-Producing Customers

This is a guest post by John Farrell, who is the Director of Democratic Energy at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and widely known as the guru of distributed energy. The original post can be viewed here. It seems crazy that electric companies would have anything against customers that spend their own money to reduce [...]

Solar Petition Shines in Oral Argument at Court

Solar advocates likely came one step closer yesterday to allowing third party retail solar sales in Florida. The Floridians for Solar Choice (FSC) legal team went before the Florida Supreme Court to gain its approval to have the solar choice question placed on the 2016 ballot. After yesterday’s oral argument, solar choice supporters have reason [...]

Solar Choice in the Florida Supreme Court

Things haven’t exactly been easy for the solar industry in the Sunshine State. Despite abundant sunshine and a largely untapped market, energy policies are under the complete control of utility monopolies and have remained ironically un-friendly to solar. Current Florida law only allows utility companies to sell electric power to a customer, meaning that any [...]

EPA Expands the Role of Renewable Energy in the Final Clean Power Plan

On August 3, the EPA finalized the Clean Power Plan, placing limits on carbon emissions from our nation’s power plants for the first time. Undervalued as carbon-curbing technologies in the proposed draft, the EPA took several steps to strengthen the role that renewables can play in the final rule. That means wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources are well positioned to help states meet their emission reduction targets and accelerate our nation’s transition to a clean, low-carbon economy.

Is TVA’s New Integrated Resource Plan a Wise Path Forward?

In reflecting on the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) 2015 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) in a recent blog, our research director pointed out that “TVA’s 20-year plan looks at the ground we stand on, sketches some ideas for tomorrow, but does not really scan future horizons.” So, what should TVA’s Board do to take this plan from sketches to concrete action?

If TVA Reinvented its Fire

One of the questions I often get asked is what it would take for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA),  or any other large utility, to move to 100% renewable energy and energy efficiency. That question comes up more and more often as people learn about TVA’s  2015 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). Even though TVA’s IRP [...]

Solar Financing Paves the Way for Market Growth

In a new study recently published by Green Tech Media, it was reported that 72% of all residential solar installed in 2014 was the result of what the solar industry calls the third party ownership. Third party ownership includes lease models as well as power purchasing agreements (PPAs).  The solar industry has seen incredible growth [...]