Author Archives: Stephen Lacey

Coal Generation Drops 19% in 1 Year in US

May 15th, 2012 | by Stephen Lacey

  Power generation from coal is falling quickly. According to new figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, coal made up 36 [&hellip


ALEC Received Funding from Koch Industries & Exxon Mobil to Craft Legislation Aimed at Repealing Renewable Energy Standards

April 26th, 2012 | by Stephen Lacey

Two leading conservative political organizations say they are stepping up coordinated efforts to repeal state-level renewable energy targets. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) — a “stealth business lobbyist” that works with corporate interests to help them write and implement “model” legislation — says it may soon start crafting laws designed to kill or weaken state targets for renewable electricity, heating and fuels.


Romney Wanted Government “to Invest in New Technology” — in 2007

March 28th, 2012 | by Stephen Lacey

If the Mitt Romney of today debated himself from a few years ago, he would likely call himself a government-loving socialist. In 2007, as he prepared his national presidential campaign, Romney explicitly supported 50-mile-per-gallon fuel efficiency standards, electric cars, government programs for new automotive technologies, and renewable energy to reduce the global warming “burden” of greenhouse gases


AEI Economist Fumbles Big Time on Cost of Renewables

February 29th, 2012 | by Stephen Lacey

Did you know that the landing on the moon was staged? Or that swallowing seeds will cause fruit to grow in your stomach? Or that the cost of solar power has gone up 63% since 2001? If you are tied to reality, you’d know that all three of these statements are utterly false. And while most people know that the moon landing was real and that seeds don’t grow in your stomach, the last falsity is an easy one to slip by people who don’t follow energy — which is almost everyone. In fact, the installed cost of solar has come down nearly 40% since 2001.


WTF? Sen. Lamar Alexander “Can’t Think of” Extending Wind Power Tax Credits (& Saving 37,000 Jobs), but Trying to Force Tar Sands Pipeline

February 17th, 2012 | by Stephen Lacey

With every passing day, Congress outdoes its own abysmal environmental record. Even as federal policymakers consider a transportation bill that would open up sensitive areas for offshore drilling, encourage use of dirty oil shale, force a decision on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, and derail public investments in public transportation, they couldn’t even compromise on a simple short-term tax credit for wind energy


Green Homes to Grow 5-Fold by 2016

February 13th, 2012 | by Stephen Lacey

With the construction industry still recovering in the U.S., companies offering “green” services may be able to set themselves apart and grow business faster, according to a survey conducted by McGraw-Hill Construction. In 2011, green builds in the residential sector made up 17% of construction, totaling $17 billion in economic activity. And the value of the residential green building market is expected to grow five-fold by 2016, taking up to 38% of the market and representing $87 billion – $114 billion


Energy Tax Breaks Wiki Launched

February 7th, 2012 | by Stephen Lacey

Go ahead, admit it: You stay up late studying the tax system, pouring over every line of the tax code so you can understand the details of exempt facility bonds, accelerated cost recovery systems, and carryback credits. If you’re a tax geek, I’ve got a job for you. Help the rest of us non-tax experts out by contributing to a new wiki designed to track the broad range of subsidies going to the energy industry


Grass Clippings to Solar Panels — Biophotovoltaics

February 6th, 2012 | by Stephen Lacey

It’s chore day. You’ve raked the leaves, taken out the recycling, and emptied out the old junk in your garage. But wait — don’t toss it all out! You have all the ingredients for your very own homemade solar system


$89,000 — Amount Romney Could Save on Electric Bill by Going Solar

February 5th, 2012 | by Stephen Lacey

Republican presidential front runner Mitt Romney makes more money in one day than the average American makes in a year. With $20.9 million in income last year and a lower tax rate than most middle-class Americans, perhaps he’d be willing to join the thousands of homeowners around the country who are investing in solar


Yikes! Darrell Issa Doesn’t Know Difference between Tax Credits & Loan Guarantees

January 26th, 2012 | by Stephen Lacey

What’s the only thing worse than turning a Congressional investigation into a months-long political circus? The leaders of that investigation not having a firm grasp of the policies they’re supposed to be examining. California Republican Darrell Issa chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, one of the top bodies responsible for looking into the loan guarantee to the now-bankrupt solar manufacturer Solyndra. So you’d think that Mr. Issa would, after almost four months of investigation, be able to distinguish the extraordinary differences between a tax credit and a loan guarantee


“No Evidence” that Wind Turbine Syndrome Actually Exists

January 23rd, 2012 | by Stephen Lacey

If we want wind to continue growing, more turbines will need to be placed in our communities and close to our backyards. And that will inevitably cause more social friction. Wind supporters cannot discount concerns from local residents about noise and visual impact. With proper communication between developers and communities, many of the potential conflicts can be mitigated or avoided.


Stop the Environment vs Economy Nonsense… or ‘risk becoming irrelevant’, Leading Investor Says (VIDEO)

January 19th, 2012 | by Stephen Lacey

A top GE executive is calling the political battle between economy and environment “nonsense.” In a video interview (featured below) at an international clean energy investment conferencelast week, Mark Vachon, vice president of GE’s successful Ecomagination program, hailed “environmental performance” as a key driver for business.


$6 Million More Spent on Bogus Solyndra Ads

January 19th, 2012 | by Stephen Lacey

The Koch-funded political advocacy organization Americans for Prosperity is unleashing another multi-million campaign to play up the Solyndra bankruptcy in key election states. After the release of 180,000 pages of documents and months of a heavily-politicized Congressional investigation that included testimony from Energy Secretary Steven Chu, there is still no evidence that the loan guarantee issued to the now-bankrupt solar company Solyndra was a political favor, or that any official in the Administration did anything illegal.


States Need to Develop Entire Clean Energy Economy, Report Finds

January 13th, 2012 | by Stephen Lacey

Congressional commitment to action on clean energy policy in 2012 is about as secure as Kim Kardashian’s wedding vows. So with states once again representing the major driver for renewable energy, how can they keep the momentum going at a time when federal enthusiasm is at its lowest level in years? The key, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution, is for states to focus not just on project-level deployment, but to shift some funds toward support broader sustainable economic goals that foster the clean energy economy from the ground up. And there are still a fair amount of funds to work with on the state level, as the below map illustrates:


Cleantech Venture Investments Up 13% in 2011 — Solar the Leader

January 10th, 2012 | by Stephen Lacey

As emerging clean technology companies reach stages of growth that require enormous amounts of deployment capital, investment figures for 2011 reflect that market dynamic. Last year, global corporate and venture capital investments in cleantech grew 13% over 2010, reaching almost $9 billion, according to preliminary figures released from the Cleantech Group. Most of those investments are going to companies that have already picked up one or more rounds of funding, with 85% of dollars flowing into Series B rounds or later. The most stunning increase in activity last year was in mergers and acquisitions, which grew by 154% in 2011. Because it’s often more attractive for cleantech companies to merge with a mature corporate parent rather than go public, the amount of exits in M&A have shot up dramatically.



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