Commentary: As Trump threatens historic climate protections, Midwest Republican governors embrace clean energy economy

Any day now, President Trump is expected to issue an executive order attacking key climate and air standards, including the Clean Power Plan — America’s first-ever nationwide standards to reduce carbon pollution from power plants. But the new administration does not reflect all Republicans’ attitudes toward the environment and cleaner power — far from it.

Commentary: When will Wisconsin utilities finally embrace solar?

For solar energy in Wisconsin, the last 24 months have been nothing short of electrifying.  After the best-year-ever in 2015 led by installations on businesses and homes, 2016 started with a jolt when La Crosse-based Dairyland Power Cooperative committed to 14 large projects scattered across the full length of western Wisconsin. About half of these projects will be fully operational by the end of February, and the remainder before July. Projects by Alliant Energy, Bayfield Electric Cooperative and Madison Gas & Electric delivered the next pulse of sun-generated power. Their installations span the state from Iron River near Lake Superior in the north to Beloit by the Illinois border in the south. Large arrays placed on 16 Wisconsin stores owned by national retailer Target also contributed to the ongoing surge of solar generation.

Commentary: Removing co-op oversight jeopardizes rural solar

A plan floated by Minnesota lawmakers to exempt rural electric cooperatives from virtually all regulatory oversight would allow these utilities to restrict development of local solar power, even where their member-owners support renewable energy. Legislation introduced last month and working its way through the state’s House (HF234) and Senate (SF141) would put co-op boards themselves, rather than the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), in charge of resolving customer disputes over rates and other policies. Disguised as “local control,” the measure undermines the objective role of the Commission as a mediator between cooperatives and their members. Co-ops provide electricity across greater Minnesota, and have in recent years come under fire as sharp opponents of distributed solar generation. Customer have complained about outsize fees for having rooftop solar – sometimes masked as other charges, like for a new meter.

Commentary: Clean energy still trumps partisan politics

This morning, the sun rose all across the United States of America, as it has every day since Election Day. We are no doubt a changed nation. The coming days and weeks will begin to show the depths and direction of that change. But today, the sun is generating power – clean, cost-effective power, thanks to solar PV projects on rooftops and fields in communities across America. The economics of solar and energy efficiency remain as strong today as they did before Election Day.