This year is shaping up to be pivotal in California’s energy sector. New leadership in the legislature and at the California Public Utilities Commission along with Governor Jerry Brown’s ambitious goals for clean energy present a tremendous opportunity to build on existing state policy and achievements.
We live in very exciting times! As new solar energy technologies and policies develop, they are making solar cost‑competitive with fossil fuels. Local governments in communities and counties across the U.S. can play an important role in helping enable more residents and businesses transition to solar energy sources. It’s a win-win for consumers, the environment and the economy.
We Homo sapiens have always had to adapt to climate, geology and geography. However, in the 20th century, through our burning of fossil fuels — coal, oil and gas — and mass deforestation, which increases atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, we are causing the atmosphere to warm and the climate to change.
CSE recently conducted research to find out if political ideology helps determine people’s motivations for adopting solar photovoltaics (PV) systems and, if so, whether these characteristics play a role in determining the size of installed systems.
People who buy or lease an electric vehicle (EV) mainly do so to save money on fuel costs. Unfortunately, the majority of California EV owners don’t achieve the greatest savings, which may hamper increased EV adoption.
California has gained significant positive results with sustainable energy incentive programs with record numbers of consumers going solar and driving more electric vehicles. Some of what CSE has learned in helping to drive such clean energy initiatives can help local government agencies to shape successful clean energy programs throughout California and across the country.
As California continues procuring more energy from solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, energy storage is increasingly seen as a critical element to help achieve the reality of sourcing 33% of the state’s energy and beyond from renewables. It’s a technology that is now scaled to meet the needs of medium and small businesses and provides several significant benefits.
We’re pleased this year’s California legislative session produced major activity across the transportation spectrum. It closed in September with a flurry of bills that advance cleaner, greener transportation, giving us hope that we can expect equally significant efforts in the 2015 legislative session.
While some school districts successfully secured Proposition 39 (California Clean Energy Jobs Act) funds for sustainable energy projects during the current solicitation period, the majority of California schools are struggling to identify resources to help them through the application process.
The idea of creating zero net energy (ZNE) homes and buildings is emerging as a realistic goal, for new construction and, to the extent possible, upgrading of existing building stock. While there are various definitions of ZNE, a broadly accepted meaning is a building or home that produces as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year.