As 2021 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on the progress—and setbacks—that advanced energy experienced in state legislatures across the country this past year. For the most part, momentum around the clean energy and transportation transformation has continued to grow, with major wins that will drive unprecedented market growth for the industry. Still, some states dug in their heels to delay or block progress toward a 100% clean energy economy.
Californians are grappling with recurring power shut-offs, wildfires, poor air quality, heat waves, and rising energy costs. These combined challenges are straining the electricity system as well as Californians’ finances, so much so that 55% of Californians say their monthly energy bill is a significant concern. To prepare our energy system and protect communities from worsening climate impacts, California must continue to make a rapid transition to clean electricity. But the way California supports solar, its leading clean energy resource, is about to change. If not done correctly, this change could threaten the state’s ability to meet its clean energy goals, and leave our electric power system more vulnerable than ever.
There’s no more exciting play in football than the Hail Mary – a desperate throw to the end zone in hopes of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Sometimes it even works (see Doug Flutie, Boston College, 1984). More often, though, it is the ground game that moves the chains, advancing the ball inexorably toward the goal line with every 10-yard gain. So it is with advanced energy, where the march toward 100% clean energy is happening, with little Hail Mary-style spectacle, state by state.
Topics: State Policy
We all know that electric vehicles (EVs) are the future, and they’re here today. They’re quicker, quieter, and cheaper to own than old-fashioned gas-powered cars. But the market for EVs is still evolving, with a limited number of models available (though more on the way). And vehicular travel is still built around gas guzzlers and gas stations. In the world of today, how do you find an EV that’s right for you? Even worse – how do you advise someone else about what EV might be right for them? Faced with that dilemma, one of my colleagues took to AEE’s transportation-oriented Slack channel for guidance. Here is the chat that ensued.
Topics: Advanced Transportation
California’s legislative session drew to a close on September 10 this year, uncharacteristically early, and with less fanfare than in years past. In many ways, the session started off like a sequel to the one prior, with economic recovery, energy reliability, and wildfire severity all top of mind. But rather than a sprint, with a crowded field rushing to the tape, the 2021 legislative session was more like a marathon, with fits, starts, and a finish line stretching an additional week, when the tally for the September 14 gubernatorial recall election was finished. The implications of this consequential recall campaign – including raised stakes for the state’s clean energy ambitions – reverberated throughout the Capitol and, in some cases, had a chilling effect on political appetites. But in the end, the advanced energy industry gained major breakthroughs on electric transportation, with some unfinished business, as wildfire concerns dominated the conversation on reliability and resilience.