Skip to main content

Feeling smug about your solar rooftop? Not so fast

Severin Borenstein, professor of business | January 21, 2016

If you installed solar panels on your roof and feel aglow with environmental virtue, you may be in for a rude awakening. There’s a good chance someone else has purchased your halo and is wearing it right now. In most states (including California) power generated by rooftop solar panels earns Renewable Energy Certificates, which quantify how … Continue reading »

You have the right to generate your own electricity

Steven Weissman, associate director, Center for Law, Energy and the Environment | December 4, 2015

Do people have the right to generate electricity for their own use and still remain connected to the grid? Of course they do. You see it every day. Without prior registration or a background check, anyone can go into a hardware store and buy a diesel generator. Homeowners and businesses can install rooftop solar photovoltaics … Continue reading »

Interior moving forward with contentious desert solar projects

Patrick Donnelly-Shores, former student, College of Natural Resources | March 7, 2014

On February 19th, the Department of Interior announced that it had approved two utility-scale solar projects in the Mojave Desert: Silver State South Solar Project and Stateline Solar Farm Project. The two projects, which have already generated significant controversy, straddle the California/Nevada border in the remote Ivanpah Valley, and will combine to provide 550 MW of energy, … Continue reading »

Exploring policies to promote local renewables

Steven Weissman, associate director, Center for Law, Energy and the Environment | February 28, 2012

Last July, California Governor Jerry Brown held a conference, hosted by the Luskin Center at UCLA, to launch his initiative to achieve 12,000 megawatts of local renewable energy projects in California by 2020.  Local renewables, often called distributed generation, are projects no larger than 20 megawatts located close to customer demand. Berkeley Law’s Center for … Continue reading »

Post-tsunami Japan teaches the world about energy within limits

Steven Weissman, associate director, Center for Law, Energy and the Environment | August 1, 2011

Earlier this summer, I accompanied a class of renewable-energy law students to a home in Vermont that is “off the grid.” The family lives quite comfortably — television, microwave oven, electric washing machine, sizable refrigerator. With the exception of a small diesel generator, which they use once or twice a year, they derive all of … Continue reading »