Aug
16
2018

100 Percent Renewable? Not Yet Doable

Last night, Energy Fairness joined a community event in Georgetown, Texas, asking whether the city is really powered by 100 percent renewable electricity? Over 100 citizens turned out for a 90-minute panel discussion and robust Q & A session, convened by the Texas Public Policy Foundation and also featuring:

Honorable Charles McConnell, Executive Director of Rice University’s Energy and Environment Initiative. Bill Peacock, Vice President of Research at Texas Public Policy Foundation. Kevin Roberts, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Georgetown is a charming city north of Austin with a diverse population, thriving businesses and a

May
24
2018

Smarter Ways Forward with The Ray

Frequently, PACE talks about consumers’ interest in transportation from a fuel supply angle (oil pipelines) or integrating new technologies (electric vehicles). Many big thinkers are attempting to envision how, when and at what cost energy, telecommunications and transportation will converge. Many laudable “Smart Cities” projects and pilots with broad scopes of inquiry are underway.

While sweeping inquiries are useful, it’s also beneficial to focus more closely on a set of questions and issues. More discrete sets of information often have a better chance of getting and holding people’s attention. Those who live and work far from cities should also

May
08
2018

TVA Generation Mix: Celebrating Wins for Consumers

This past weekend, the Chattanooga Times Free-Press published an article updating readers on the Tennessee Valley Authority’s multi-year program to transition its generation mix. Nearly a decade ago, in 2011, a lawsuit by environmental groups led to a settlement agreement. TVA has lived up to the agreement by taking sweeping actions to reduce emissions while providing affordable and reliable power to a growing population.

To be sure, TVA looks different today than it did in 2011. Over the past seven years, the utility has shut down 33 coal units and updated other coal units to reduce emissions. It has also

Apr
25
2018

Community Solar for All

PACE supports “all of the above” energy policies, even though the phrase itself has fallen out of fashion in some circles. All of the above, in case we haven’t always been clear, includes renewable energy.

One of the most important renewable sources is community solar. The price is right, compared to many other forms of renewable energy. And there’s something intangible too, that may not appear on a spreadsheet. Somehow, people respond to seeing panels in a small, approachable array while on their way to the grocery store or the local school.

Owing to our interest in community solar, we

Aug
13
2010

Texas Wind Power Is Not So Powerful

This week, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which regulates the flow of electricity to 21 million consumers in the state, released some startling data about Texas’s power usage and the role of wind.

What did we learn?

We learned that wind power is simply not a reliable source of energy – even in a state like Texas, which has spent more money on wind electricity generation than any other state in the country.

Texas is capable of producing 9,317 megawatts of electricity from their wind turbines. Using the American Wind Energy Association’s calculations, Texas has invested billions into

Apr
05
2010

Discussion of Rare Earth Metals Is Stunningly Rare

No, it’s not a late April Fool’s joke: The world’s development of renewable, so-called “clean” technologies might be fatally threatened because we don’t mine the materials we need to make them. Those who support wind and solar power, but abhor mining altogether, might not be able to build wind turbines and solar panels if we don’t begin aggressively mining rare earth metals. It’s tragic irony.

PACE credits the Western Business Roundtable and its leader, Jim Sims, for championing the issue of rare earth metals. I became interested in the topic after hearing Sims speak on the issue in Phoenix, Arizona,