In the Midwest, young conservatives are finding common ground on clean energy with some old political hands.
There is a bill under consideration by Congress that stands out as an example of both sound policy and good politics.
The Advanced Energy Centre at MaRS Discovery District and Coalition: Energy in Chicago are both testing and refining the use of an intentional convening process with the energy industry.
It makes no difference on which side of the aisle you stand, energy reform is necessary. There are solutions to our antiquated model of energy production – solutions that conservatives can and should embrace.
Utilizing the “idle” ground associated with solar farms, whether 1,000 sq ft or 1,000 acres, to create habitat surely seems like the right thing to do.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune recently reported that a developer is considering a lawsuit against Xcel Energy for stalling progress of community solar in Minnesota. “Stall” is generous. In fact, Xcel has obstructed the roll-out of community solar in a deliberate slow walk. It’s been 27 months since the law took effect, but the utility’s own resource plan says it expects just 1 in 7 completed community solar applications (about 40 megawatts) to reach commercial operation after another 15 months, when the 30 percent federal solar tax credit expires. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has been outplayed by the utility’s stall tactics, detailed below.
The 2016 presidential campaign offers Midwest voters and businesses an opportunity to promote local clean energy policies on a national stage that will have a positive impact our economy and environment.
Positive news out of Washington isn’t always the easiest to find, so it may be surprising to learn that a bipartisan group of federal legislators has come together to support an energy policy which could have important benefits for Wisconsin.
Minnesota’s bipartisan clean energy framework has served the state exceptionally well. To paraphrase Governor Pawlenty, Minnesota’s clean energy policy is a “win-win-win-win” — good for customers, good for the state economy, good for our air and water resources, and good for Minnesota’s energy independence.
For citizens concerned about the fate of the planet, the options for effecting change through government action seem to be narrowing. If Congress is closed, and the states are too passive, what can be done?
What makes the energy sector so exciting is the convergence of telecommunications capabilities (like the smart grid) for utilities and traditional customers to produce and market energy.