Solar Photovoltaics in the Energy Transformation

For the World and California by Robert Freehling In the early 1950s, scientists at Bell Laboratories invented the first modern silicon photovoltaic cell - a semiconductor crystal that could convert sunlight directly into electricity, using one of the most abundant materials on the earth.1 Some time either this year or next (2022 or 2023), the … Continue reading Solar Photovoltaics in the Energy Transformation

A Costly Omission in Planning for Climate Change

How Wide-scale Desert Soil Disturbance Releases Stored Carbon by Robin Kobaly Most people are not aware of the vast amount of carbon that is captured and stored underground in desert soils. When comparing carbon storage in desert landscapes to that in forest landscapes, for example, it is easy to underestimate carbon stocks in the desert, … Continue reading A Costly Omission in Planning for Climate Change

Scraped Earth and Desert Winds

A Disregarded Consequence of Solar Photovoltaic Construction by Pat Flanagan Several other articles in this issue have described the damage done when undisturbed desert lands are utilized for energy generation at large scale photovoltaic installations. Damage to the biotic community when the surface is scraped clean is obvious. A less obvious consequence is the release … Continue reading Scraped Earth and Desert Winds

The Utility “Cost Shift” Fallacy:

The accounting methods behind the utilities' claims about rooftop solar by Dave Rosenfeld The continued growth of rooftop solar and battery storage is key to a successful clean energy transition, one that puts the needs of the public at the center, with lower costs, protection from blackouts, and quicker pollution reductions. Because remote, industrial scale … Continue reading The Utility “Cost Shift” Fallacy:

Transmission-independent Renewable Energy:

Parking Lot Shade Structures, Commercial and Industrial Rooftops by Bill Powers State planners assume California will reach its ambitious decarbonization targets by developing remote, utility-scale solar and wind farms dependent on new transmission lines to reach urban centers. It is a largely unquestioned article of faith that the cheapest solar and wind power is generated … Continue reading Transmission-independent Renewable Energy:

Distributed Energy Resources in Urban Load Centers

Benefitting Local Users and Protecting Remote Deserts by Jay Powell California renewable energy expansion is the primary driver behind new renewable energy project development in the West. A primary benefit of prioritizing a Distributed Energy Resource (DER)1 future in California, is its potential to minimize remote renewable energy generation and transmission, and thereby alleviate or … Continue reading Distributed Energy Resources in Urban Load Centers

The Electrical Industrial Complex

California Regulators' Scheme to Kill Rooftop Solar Supports Utility Profiteering by Loretta Lynch I headed the California Public Utilities Commission 20 years ago, at the dawn of California's rooftop solar revolution. We opened the doors for families and businesses to go solar to grow the amount of clean, local-solar electricity produced in California. We knew … Continue reading The Electrical Industrial Complex