What’s with the scary ads about threats to your power service?
By: Ivy Main - June 2, 2021
It’s campaign season in Virginia, with primary elections coming up on June 6. But in addition to all the candidate flyers arriving in mailboxes, Virginia residents have been receiving another kind of mailer with a message unrelated to the election. Oversized, campaign-style postcards from an entity calling itself Power for Tomorrow warn, “Clean Virginia wants […]
Lots of ‘renewable’ options for energy consumers, but why are so few of them any good?
By: Ivy Main - May 21, 2021
Virginia residents who want to do right by the planet are confronted with a bewildering array of renewable energy and “green power” options. Unfortunately, few of these programs actually deliver renewable energy. People who want the gold standard — electricity from new wind and solar projects — are completely out of luck if their utility […]
Ten questions Dominion should answer (but probably won’t)
By: Ivy Main - April 30, 2021
Dominion Energy will be holding its annual shareholder meeting virtually on May 5. For the most part these meetings are scripted and self-congratulatory, but they also make space for individual shareholders to ask questions. For ordinary people who may own just a small number of shares in the company, this may be the only time […]
What would a carbon-free grid look like for Virginia?
By: Ivy Main - April 16, 2021
Joe Biden wants a carbon-free electric grid by 2035. What does that look like in Virginia? Virginia’s General Assembly made history in 2020 by becoming the first state in the South to pass a law requiring the full decarbonization of its electric sector. The Virginia Clean Economy Act requires our two largest utilities, Dominion Energy […]
An April 1 energy solution
By: Ivy Main - April 1, 2021
One of the most exciting areas of energy technology today is storage. With wind and solar now the leading sources of new energy capacity in the U.S., maximizing their potential in the future depends on the development of storage solutions with different durations and applications. We tend to think first of batteries, a form of […]
The General Assembly made progress on climate in 2021, but our work here is hardly done
By: Ivy Main - March 5, 2021
Before the start of the 2021 legislative session, I highlighted three areas where Virginia needed to make significant progress to support its climate agenda: transportation electrification, improving the energy efficiency of buildings and giving consumers greater access to renewable energy. The General Assembly delivered on one-and-a-half out of three. If we add bonus points for […]
In the aftermath of a devastating winter storm, can we take lessons from Texas?
By: Ivy Main - February 25, 2021
It is never fun to see our fellow Americans suffer, whether it’s from pandemic diseases or weather disasters. Our hearts go out to the residents of Texas who suffered without electricity and heat for days, some of them also without safe drinking water, and a few of them even dying from exposure, fires or carbon […]
At General Assembly’s halftime, consumers hold a narrow lead
By: Ivy Main - February 8, 2021
Virginia is, famously, a state that prides itself on being business-friendly. That makes it all the more interesting that a number of bills favoring consumers have made it through the House. Democrats have led the charge, but several of the bills earned bipartisan support even in the face of utility opposition. This doesn’t guarantee their […]
An early look at climate and energy bills in the 2021 session
By: Ivy Main - January 4, 2021
Last year Virginia’s General Assembly passed more than 30 separate clean energy bills, which together put Virginia on a path to zero-carbon electricity by 2050, enabled massive investments in renewable energy, storage and energy efficiency and eased restrictions on distributed solar. But many of the bills that passed were not perfect, and most of the […]
Do hominoids dream of solar sheep?
By: Ivy Main - December 11, 2020
Everybody has a favorite topic to bring up at parties when someone who knows them only vaguely and can’t remember what line of work they’re in seeks clues by asking, “So what have you been up to lately?” “Advocating for offshore wind!” I used to respond brightly, which is why I wasn’t that popular at […]
What we can expect on the environment from a Biden administration
By: Ivy Main - November 12, 2020
Immediately following the 2016 election of Donald Trump, I wrote a column titled “Why Trump won’t stop the clean energy revolution.” If you were to read it now, you would yawn. What seemed bold back then now feels like forecasting the inevitable. Of course coal has not come back. Of course wind and solar are […]
The SCC’s vanishing trick: turning shared solar into no solar
By: Ivy Main - October 30, 2020
With Virginia fully committed to the clean energy transition, you would think that by now, residents would be able to check a box on their utility bill to buy solar energy, or at least be able to call up a third-party solar provider to sell them electricity from solar. Not so. Sure, if you’re fortunate […]