Jennifer Granholm, former governor of the auto-manufacturing mecca in Michigan, became the United States secretary of energy on February 25. Granholm now oversees a revamped agency that includes energy-justice advocate Shalanda Baker in a key role and other clean-energy doers in high places. Is this a downpayment on President Joe Biden's promise to reach carbon-neutral electricity in 14 years? It just might be, and Biden's White House team reinforces the idea.
When you fiddle with spreadsheet cells or engineering models all day in pursuit of clean energy, the sound of stasis can clang in your ears. So after local and national politicians blamed wind turbines for a power outage that interrupted water supplies and left people freezing for days across the state, we decided to document who really pays when legacy asset owners refuse to update their energy plans. Our reporter took breaks from checking on her family in Austin to round up stories about real people's real chills and real hunger.
Look behind the dominant curve, on which solar power becomes cheaper to supply while corporate commitments, voters' priorities and scientific data goose demand for solar. You'll see that too many people find themselves locked out of the solar market or barred from influencing its direction. Two speakers challenged Yale audiences to expand the curve's cone of inclusion.
Our partners at the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University turn up more evidence that American voters demand forward motion on carbon reduction. Their new voter survey finds two-thirds of respondents convinced that legislators should prioritize investment in fossil-free energy.
Bring in the ethicists, actuaries and silviculturists to figure out how to insure homeowners who buy lots at the edge of wilderness that gets more combustible each year. Then, to really complicate things, reckon with the costs to insure utilities in the same territory. In California, nobody from the insurers who won't market to some homes to the state officials capping insurance rates has fashioned a workable solution. Here's a look at the problem set in an ongoing search for security.
Nothing succeeds like exceeding. In this policy memo, which she wrote as part of coursework for the certificate in Financing and Deploying Clean Energy, attorney Joan Beckner makes a nonpartisan argument for delivering all of Texas' energy from clean sources by 2050. The memo Beckner wrote for her class includes over thirty footnotes, which we'll post on CEFF for those who want to trace the sources. The logic here can guide debate in any of the dozens of states where wind, solar and hydro look more affordable and more urgent than ever.
Equinor Strategy Summit, Norway, 2019 – Executives of Equinor (formerly known as Statoil) were holed up in a room drinking hot chocolate after a day of skiing. Strategy staff members presented them with a list of unidentified companies (“Company 1,” “Company 2,” “Company 3”) along with historical and projected returns. One had 10% return ambitions; another roughly the same, etc. The executives were asked: Which companies do you think these are? Shell? Ørsted? Exxon? What happened next remains a mystery; but, according to Michael Wheeler, Equinor’s Principal of Corporate Strategy, who told the tale at a conference last year, the...