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Game Changers

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Sustainability pros and advocates in Southwest Virginia persevere amid skepticism, Tea Party opposition

February 17, 2015 by Jim Pierobon
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Politics and Health in Virginia

Few Virginians believe working on sustainability initiatives in the southwestern part of the state is easy. Many from there know elected officials who are openly skeptical about global warming, and with it doubts about the benefits of conserving energy, curbing harmful emissions and cleaning up waste streams.[read more]

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10 Solar Energy Proposals in Virginia to Watch During its Short 2015 General Assembly

January 30, 2015 by Jim Pierobon
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Virginia Solar Energy Legislation

It would take a hermit not to recognize the pent-up demand for solar throughout much of Virginia. While states such as North Carolina and Georgia are seeing significant growth, Virginia lags far behind and is all but ignoring the opportunity to diversify its economy with cleaner energy sources.[read more]

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Communicating About Climate Change: 'The Elephant We're All Inside Of'

January 12, 2015 by Jim Pierobon
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Climate Change and Communication

How stakeholders communicate about climate change has long been framed by who’s doing the framing more than the information being communicated. I'm curious how various stakeholders – believers, skeptics and deniers alike – are talking about it and who, if anybody, is ‘moving the needle’ in either direction.[read more]

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EPA's Coal Ash Storage Rule Shouldn't Let Utilities Off the Hook: Viable Options Exist

December 29, 2014 by Jim Pierobon
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EPA Coal Ash Regulation and Utilities

For a President who likes to champion cleaner, safer and cost effective energy and environmental solutions, it caught some by surprise when Barack Obama’s EPA punted on December 19th on classifying toxic coal ash as a hazardous waste which would have set stringent disposal requirements.[read more]

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Valuing Solar Energy: Two Models to Use

December 15, 2014 by Jim Pierobon
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Solar Energy Valuation

“A strong VOS approach,” ICF’s Steve Fine and colleagues concluded, “in which the real costs and benefits to the system are accurately valued, is not only a useful tool for integrating increasing amounts of SPV onto the grid, but will be critical for stakeholders to make planning and risk management decisions.”[read more]

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A New Platform to Guide Utility Regulations To Let Solar and Distributed Energy Flourish

November 28, 2014 by Jim Pierobon
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Utility Regulations and Future Energy Planning

If you could start from a clean slate to regulate electric utilities, how would you begin such a task, and how would you reflect the changing dynamics in the electricity industry, especially with respect to solar energy and distributed generation?[read more]

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Coal Ash Waste Disposal by Utilities Set to Improve December 19th, But What About the Growing Risks of‘ 'Legacy' Pits?

November 24, 2014 by Jim Pierobon
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Coal Ash Waste Disposal Risk

140 million tons of waste ash is dumped by utilities along major waterways every year throughout the United States. Recent ruptures have done a great deal to underscore the growing public health and safety risks to both human beings and wildlife.[read more]

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Tea Party Organizer Debbie Dooley Taking Her Advocacy for Solar Energy and Against Utility Monopolies to Florida, Virginia, and Wisconsin

October 30, 2014 by Jim Pierobon
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Solar Advocacy and Utility Challenges

 

When Debbie Dooley seized the mantle as solar energy’s newest and most vocal champion in Georgia last year, solar advocates in other states began wondering how they could replicate her efforts. Well they may have an answer as Dooley is testing the waters in Florida, Virginia and Wisconsin.[read more]

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Virginia Utilities Pull Out of Collaboration Working on a Method to Value Solar Energy

September 26, 2014 by Jim Pierobon
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Virginia Utilities and Solar Valuation

"It looks like the utilities didn't like what the study is finding, and they are hoping that walking out of the room will make it go away,” said Ivy Main, a prominent blogger about clean energy in Virginia and a participant in the Small Solar Working Group.[read more]

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With New Law, South Carolina Sets a Foundation for More Solar Energy

September 8, 2014 by Jim Pierobon
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South Carolina and Solar

Another state in the Southeast United States is recognizing the economic and environmental benefits of solar energy as commissioners, utilities and stakeholders in South Carolina are ironing out details of a new solar law that enables third-party leasing.[read more]

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Who Says Solar Energy Doesn't Make Sense in Virginia?

August 25, 2014 by Jim Pierobon
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Virginia and Solar Energy

“People like to be part of something positive,” said Aaron Sutch, Program Director of VA SUN, an offshoot of Community Power Network in Washington, DC. “The social aspect of participating as a community in a technology that enables self-reliance while helping the environment is a real driver.”[read more]

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Utility Clean Energy Deployment: Do Enough Customers and Stakeholders Care in Virginia?

August 5, 2014 by Jim Pierobon
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Utilities and Clean Energy

Former FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff's has advice to clean energy advocates: “Consumers must hold electric utilities and their regulators accountable and insist upon accelerating the deployment of clean energy and managing the transition to distributed generation (including rooftop solar) and open electricity markets.”[read more]

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Improving Energy Efficiency in Virginia: A Better Way Forward from the Virginia Advanced Energy Industries Coalition

July 29, 2014 by Jim Pierobon

Virginia Energy Efficiency Development

There’s been a gaping void of credible policy recommendations designed to create and develop markets for services that can help all Virginia residents, businesses and government agencies conserve the electricity and natural gas they use . . . until now.[read more]

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Here is One Forward-Looking and Very Ambitious Clean Energy Plan for Virginia

July 16, 2014 by Jim Pierobon
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Virginia Clean Energy Future

The Virginia Advanced Energy Industries Coalition (VAEIC) has made more than 70 recommendations to Gov. Terry McAuliffe. How many he adopts will be closely watched by clean energy stakeholders in Virginia and beyond. After that it will be the General Assembly's turn to act on the state's updated Energy Plan.[read more]

Here's the First Peek at Pent-Up Demand for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Virginia

June 18, 2014 by Jim Pierobon

Virginia Energy Diversification Efforts

Efforts by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to diversify the state’s energy mix are off to a curious start. He created an “Energy Council” to advise him and set six dates for “listening sessions” throughout the Commonwealth to field recommendations from the public.[read more]