News and analysis about energy in California with an eye toward renewables.
Commentary
It's Time for Independent Monitoring of Wildlife Kills at Renewable Energy Sites

It's Time for Independent Monitoring of Wildlife Kills at Renewable Energy Sites

Commentary: A recent lawsuit raises a question that's beginning to be asked by any number of people watching the renewable energy industry: Why do we trust renewable energy companies to report on their own wildlife kills?
California's Renewable Energy Plan Misses the Point on Renewable Energy

California's Renewable Energy Plan Misses the Point on Renewable Energy

Commentary: And, in fact, the plan, several years in the making, is already outdated.
California's Huge Renewable Energy Plan is Bad for Democracy

California's Huge Renewable Energy Plan is Bad for Democracy

Commentary: A draft plan to manage millions of acres in the California desert for renewable energy development is profoundly anti-democratic. Here's why.
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Report Shows Need to Protect Bird Habitat While Fighting Climate Change

Report Shows Need to Protect Bird Habitat While Fighting Climate Change

Commentary: A recent report by the Audubon Society underscores the dire future North American birds face if we don't act now to stem climate change. But that doesn't let industrial renewable energy facilities off the hook for harm they cause birds.
In Solar Discussion, There Are Birds and Then There Are Birds

In Solar Discussion, There Are Birds and Then There Are Birds

Commentary: When it comes to gauging environmental harm done by renewable energy development, "birds" is a nearly useless category.
Clean Energy Opponents Getting Even More Ridiculous

Clean Energy Opponents Getting Even More Ridiculous

Commentary: What can a high-paid DC PR rep for dirty energy industries do to stem the increasing tide of climate realism and clean energy sanity? One such group has hit on an answer: make fun of celebrities.
Deconstructing the Dispute Over Ivanpah Bird Kill Numbers

Deconstructing the Dispute Over Ivanpah Bird Kill Numbers

Commentary: In the wake of a recent Associated Press story on bird deaths at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, controversy has arisen over the actual numbers of birds being killed at Ivanpah. We take a look at what's behind the wildly divergent numbers of those deaths being offered by environmentalists and Ivanpah's owners.
How Much Has The Dialog Changed on Desert Solar? Here's How Much

How Much Has The Dialog Changed on Desert Solar? Here's How Much

Commentary: Desert solar has become so controversial that when a handful of green groups express support for a 485-megawatt desert solar project in Riverside County, that support is news.
Meet California's New Solar Capital: Buffalo, New York

Meet California's New Solar Capital: Buffalo, New York

Commentary: Elon Musk's SolarCity, the Menlo Park-based solar panel leasing company, is buying Fremont-based solar panel manufacturer Silevo and will be building one of the world's largest solar panel factories in Buffalo, New York.
Bird Deaths Continue Through May at Ivanpah Solar

Bird Deaths Continue Through May at Ivanpah Solar

Concentrating Solar: The reported deaths at the solar power plant ebbed only slightly after peaking in April, and more than half of the carcasses showed signs of injury from the plant's concentrated solar energy.
California Denies Sierra Club Intervention On Large Solar Project

California Denies Sierra Club Intervention On Large Solar Project

Commentary: A state agency has turned down a request from the Sierra Club to become a formal legal party to proceedings regarding the proposed Palen Solar Electric Generating System in Riverside County. Here's why that matters.
Not Far Enough: Some Say EPA's Climate Rules Need to do More

Not Far Enough: Some Say EPA's Climate Rules Need to do More

Climate Change: The U.S Environmental Protection Agency issued its long-awaited plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants on Monday, but some climate activists are saying the move doesn't go far enough.
In Bay Area, Obama Announces New Solar, Conservation Programs

In Bay Area, Obama Announces New Solar, Conservation Programs

Solar: In Mountain View Friday, Barack Obama announced a set of new executive actions the White House will be taking to promote the domestic solar industry and energy conservation programs. They include spending an additional $2 billion to make federal buildings more energy-efficient, providing funding for solar job training programs at community colleges across the country, and a campaign to put solar on tens of thousands more homes, including low-income housing.
Sorting Fact From Fiction on Chinese Solar In Nevada

Sorting Fact From Fiction on Chinese Solar In Nevada

Commentary: Regardless of what you've heard, the BLM didn't round up Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy's cattle from public lands to pave the way for a Chinese solar project.
Retired National Park Leaders Oppose Soda Mountain Solar

Retired National Park Leaders Oppose Soda Mountain Solar

Photovoltaic (PV): Five retired National Park Service Superintendents who spent a cumulative 35 years managing California's three desert National Parks are asking the Bureau of Land Management to move a 4,000-acre solar project they say would threaten the Mojave National Preserve's wildlife, views and groundwater.
Departing Joshua Tree Superintendent Slams Desert Solar

Departing Joshua Tree Superintendent Slams Desert Solar

Commentary: A 38-year veteran of the National Park Service who capped his career by spending three years running Joshua Tree National Park has come out against a solar project proposed for the central Mojave Desert in no uncertain terms.
Committee Hearing on Wind Energy and Eagles Deadlocks in Partisan Posturing

Committee Hearing on Wind Energy and Eagles Deadlocks in Partisan Posturing

Commentary: What could have been an informative and illuminating hearing on Obama administration policy regarding wildlife and renewable energy turned out to be nearly two hours of partisan posturing.
Fact Checking NASA: A Missed Landing on Ivanpah Dry Lake

Fact Checking NASA: A Missed Landing on Ivanpah Dry Lake

Commentary: We're huge fans of NASA's Earth Observatory website here at ReWire, so it pains us to report that the site got something badly wrong on Sunday. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System was not built "within Ivanpah Dry Lake," a.k.a "the playa." Here's why that mistake is important.
Acid Fracking in the Neighborhood? South L.A. Strikes Back

Acid Fracking in the Neighborhood? South L.A. Strikes Back

The Well Next Door: Good fences don't always mean good neighbors. The angle from which you look at them is key. Some tree-lined facades might actually be an oil operation.
Local Group Wants Renewable Development in L.A., Not Owens Valley

Local Group Wants Renewable Development in L.A., Not Owens Valley

Commentary: California's second-largest county wants to designate almost ten percent of its land for renewable energy development, and a cultural protection group is taking up metaphorical arms against the core of the proposed policy. In doing so, it's turning NIMBYism on its head.
Mainstream Media Slams Ivanpah, California's Latest Solar Project

Mainstream Media Slams Ivanpah, California's Latest Solar Project

Commentary: Regardless of how individual press outlets reached their decisions on whether to include mention of solar flux wildlife injuries, it's strange and more than a little gratifying to see a story we broke here at ReWire grow wings and go worldwide.
SOTU: A Few Interesting Energy Moments and What They Could Mean

SOTU: A Few Interesting Energy Moments and What They Could Mean

Commentary: A couple of notable mentions of energy policy in the the President's State of the Union actually represent a departure of sorts from past policies, at least if you read between the lines. And just as notable, in the energy realm, were the things that went unmentioned.
1 Million Electric Vehicles in California? A Look at the State of the State

1 Million Electric Vehicles in California? A Look at the State of the State

Transportation: Transportation accounted for 37.6 percent of the state's greenhouse gas emissions in 2011, making our cars, trucks, SUVs, and semis the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state
Departing Public Utilities Commissioner Has Strong Words For Utilities, Legislators

Departing Public Utilities Commissioner Has Strong Words For Utilities, Legislators

Government: Revealing that his fight against prostate cancer has taken a turn for the worse, California Public Utilities Commissioner Mark J. Ferron resigned Thursday from his seat on the CPUC. In the process, he made a remarkable statement about the future of energy in California in which he had some startling things to say about both California utilities and the state's legislators.
How '60 Minutes' Got its Cleantech Story Completely Wrong

How '60 Minutes' Got its Cleantech Story Completely Wrong

Commentary: A show that started out by setting the standard for broadcast investigative journalism has now apparently decided that its journalism needs no investigation at all.
ReWire's Most Important Stories of 2013

ReWire's Most Important Stories of 2013

Commentary: Here are what are, in our view, the five most important stories ReWire worked on in 2013. Each of them will likely continue to be important through 2014 and beyond.
ReWire's Most Popular Stories of 2013

ReWire's Most Popular Stories of 2013

Commentary: ReWire takes a look at the stories you thought were the most important, at least in terms of how many of you stopped by to read them. Here are the top ten most-visited stories for 2013, in ascending order of eyeballs.
This Amazingly Simple Gadget Can Solve Our Energy Woes. And It's Already in Your Home

This Amazingly Simple Gadget Can Solve Our Energy Woes. And It's Already in Your Home

Conservation: This gizmo could shrink our climate footprint without endangering wildlife, penalizing struggling ratepayers or requiring new, massive, and expensive infrastructure. In fact, widespread use of this technology could actually save the typical Californian a significant amount of money.
Obama Administration Finally Seeing the Light on Disturbed Land Solar?

Obama Administration Finally Seeing the Light on Disturbed Land Solar?

Commentary: Obama administration policy on development of renewable energy for the last six years has often been marked by intransigence against siting big solar and wind facilities on disturbed land rather than intact wildlife habitat. But a relatively obscure clause in a Presidential Memorandum issued Thursday may signal a change.
Money Trumps Science? Feds Broaden Eagle-Kill Law, Enviro Groups Angry

Money Trumps Science? Feds Broaden Eagle-Kill Law, Enviro Groups Angry

Commentary: In a long-anticipated move that has prompted howls of outrage from conservation groups, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced it will be extending the maximum length of the permits it's granting wind facility operators to injure or kill bald and golden eagles.
Is the Palen Solar Power Project a Done Deal?

Is the Palen Solar Power Project a Done Deal?

Commentary: A document that took unusually long to be posted to the state's website seems to reveal something disquieting about the California Energy Commission.
'Frackademia': Climate Science for Sale

'Frackademia': Climate Science for Sale

The Well Next Door: "In too many instances, the oil industry is essentially purchasing the results it wants," says Andrew Rosenberg of the Union for Concerned Scientists. One way to do that: funding university studies.
USFWS: Mysterious 'Funnel Effect' Harming Wildlife at Unnamed Solar Plant

USFWS: Mysterious 'Funnel Effect' Harming Wildlife at Unnamed Solar Plant

Commentary: We're guessing that USFWS knows something we don't about wildlife mortalities at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System.
BLM Solar Auction a Big Flop: Decentralized Solar to Blame?

BLM Solar Auction a Big Flop: Decentralized Solar to Blame?

Commentary: The San Luis Valley in Colorado has been incredibly attractive to solar developers in the past, with at least three solar facilities already producing power and more on the drawing board. Why were there no takers?
Arizona Utility Admits it Funded Anti-Net-Metering Groups

Arizona Utility Admits it Funded Anti-Net-Metering Groups

Commentary: If you think the conflict between rooftop solar advocates and big utilities seems heated here in California, you ought to cast a glimpse at our exotic neighbor to the east, Arizona. This week, the story took an interesting turn, as Arizona's largest utility admitted it's been bankrolling some conservative groups' involvement in the issue.
Shutdown Depriving Public of Right to Comment on Solar Project

Shutdown Depriving Public of Right to Comment on Solar Project

Government: The ongoing shutdown of the Federal government has thrown a monkey wrench into public review of a large solar power plant proposed for the California desert, and there's no way to find out how the federal government plans to address the issue.
Death Data: Why Tracking Dead Wildlife at Renewable Energy Sites is Important

Death Data: Why Tracking Dead Wildlife at Renewable Energy Sites is Important

Commentary: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has, in effect, refused to enforce several wildlife protection laws against renewable energy companies, even as those companies' threats to wildlife have mounted.
California + Fracking = The Big One?

California + Fracking = The Big One?

The Well Next Door: California is a beautiful, and scary, place to live. Earthquakes can, and have, been set off around the country, by this practice, which is expanding daily in our state.
New Fracking Law Regulates Injecting Acid Into Ground

New Fracking Law Regulates Injecting Acid Into Ground

Commentary: We made an error in our recent assessment of SB 4, the fracking regulation bill written by State Senator Fran Pavley that was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown September 20. Here's our correction on this technical, but important, aspect.
How Palm Springs Can Improve Daily Life With More Solar Power

How Palm Springs Can Improve Daily Life With More Solar Power

Commentary: The Palm Springs City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to hire a consultant to craft a city-wide solar plan, with the goal of generating at least 5 megawatts of power to offset energy use in the city's municipal buildings.
Culver City: Future Frack-topia?

Culver City: Future Frack-topia?

The Well Next Door: Culver City, home to NPR, Sony Pictures, and a hopping restaurant and gallery scene, is getting nervous.
725-Mile Transmission Line for Renewable Energy Could Hatch Harm to Eagles

725-Mile Transmission Line for Renewable Energy Could Hatch Harm to Eagles

Commentary: A major transmission project now being considered by the BLM and other agencies could bring 3,000 megawatts of power from Wyoming to cities in California, Nevada, and Arizona, removing an obstacle to much greater expansion of wind turbines in Wyoming's eagle habitat.
Meet the Frackers, Los Angeles

Meet the Frackers, Los Angeles

The Well Next Door: The days of the gushers are over -- but fracking, acidization, horizontal drilling, and other recent "enhanced recovery techniques" are giving new life to old L.A. oilfields.
Protesters Visit SoCal Edison Headquarters Over Solar Battle

Protesters Visit SoCal Edison Headquarters Over Solar Battle

Commentary: If a recent cease and desist letter that Southern California Edison (SCE) sent to rooftop solar activists was intended to make them go away, it seems to be having the opposite effect. Which could be a metaphor for utilities and rooftop solar itself, when you get right down to it.
Is SoCal Edison Attacking Home Power Solar Energy Storage?

Is SoCal Edison Attacking Home Power Solar Energy Storage?

Commentary: Homeowners who have a little bit of extra cash when they install solar panels are often encouraged to add battery storage to their home system. But a Southern California utility just delivered some upsetting news to owners of those storage systems.
Video Mocks Utility Outreach to Latino Pols in Attempt to Squelch Solar

Video Mocks Utility Outreach to Latino Pols in Attempt to Squelch Solar

Commentary: A group of environmental and economic democracy activists charges that utilities are targeting Latino politicians to restrict access to rooftop solar despite the fact that most California Latinos support more solar. And the groups are using satire as a weapon.
Wind Industry Wildlife Biologist Fined in Unlawful Eagle Handling

Wind Industry Wildlife Biologist Fined in Unlawful Eagle Handling

Conservation: A southern California wildlife biologist sentenced today for handling eagles without a license may have performed similar tasks for wind power companies while he was unlicensed, ReWire has learned. John David Bittner, who runs the Ramona-based Wildlife Research Institute, pled guilty to violations of the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA) in April.
Despite Promise, EPA's Map Not A Quick Fix For Renewables

Despite Promise, EPA's Map Not A Quick Fix For Renewables

Commentary: We've heard some critical reaction to our piece on the EPA's newly upgraded renewable energy mapping tool. We agree with that criticism. Here's why.
How the L.A. Times Got It Wrong on Desert Wind Energy

How the L.A. Times Got It Wrong on Desert Wind Energy

Wind: The paper published an editorial calling for state and federal agencies to give wind energy a far bigger slice of the pie when portioning out the California desert. Here's why they got it badly wrong.
'Don't Fund Evil': Google HQ Targeted for Climate Change Protest

'Don't Fund Evil': Google HQ Targeted for Climate Change Protest

Climate Change: In the wake of recent revelations that Google is supporting one of the most stubborn climate change denialists in the Senate, climate activists plan are planning a demonstration Wednesday at Google's headquarters in Mountain View.