Resources for the Future released some interesting global warming polling data last week that should be required reading for energy and environmental policy wonks nationwide.
Not surprisingly, the data, collected in January in partnership with Stanford University and the New York Times, shows strong public support for tackling the issue. Not surprising because, to be honest, if the results didn’t show such support they likely never would have been released. But also, for anyone that has been paying attention, the latest results are not surprising because the public has backed action on climate change in poll after poll for years.
What is far more interesting are some of the details and trends apparent in the latest data. But before we delve into those details, a note or two about polls: They are, to be sure, a fascinating means of getting a snapshot view on a given issue, but the results should never be taken as the Gospel truth. Indeed, just like the energy forecasts I caution about (see here for more on that), they should be interpreted cautiously.
Still, it is worth taking a closer look at a couple of the results from the latest RFF polling.
Continue reading Public Is Way Ahead
Of Congressionial GOP
On Climate Change,
RFF Polling Shows
The Energy Information Administration’s annual energy outlook, which was released last week, is like manna from heaven for geeky industry analysts and commentators, most definitely including myself.
Like any projection—as I have discussed in prior posts (see this piece in particular)—it is probably outdated essentially from the minute it is finished. But to EIA’s credit, it doesn’t oversell the analysis, noting instead that its forecasts “are not statements of what will happen, but of what might happen, given the assumptions and methodologies used for any particular case.” In addition, and here EIA gets extra credit, the agency takes a policy-neutral approach in its analysis, using current law in its projections; there are no assumptions about new legislation, executive orders or extensions of policies with sunset dates. As such, EIA’s analysis is about as fair as it can get.
Despite these limitations, there are a number of fascinating items in EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2015 (which can be found here).
Continue reading EIA Energy Outlook
Of Efficiency Efforts
California notched another first last year—becoming the first state in the nation to generate more than 5 percent of its electricity from utility-scale solar according to data released last month by DOE’s Energy Information Administration.
All told, EIA said, the state’s utility-scale solar units (defined as those being 1 megawatt or larger) generated a record 9.9 million megawatt-hours (mwh) of electricity in 2014, a whopping 6.1 million mwh increase over 2013. The sharp uptick in output was due largely to the completion and entry into commercial operation of four large facilities—two 550 MW plants (Topaz and Desert Sunlight), the 377 MW Ivanpah unit and the 250 MW Genesis facility. Overall, California added almost 1,900 MW of utility-scale solar to the grid in 2014, bringing the Golden State’s total to 5,400 MW.
And barring the unforeseen, the generation records will keep falling for the next several years.
Continue reading Solar Shines Bright
As California Smashes