Alternative Energy Archives - State of the Planet

wind turbines in texas

How Much Do Renewables Actually Depend on Tax Breaks?

The shift to renewable energy is key to combating climate change and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. But critics argue it won’t be possible without financial support from the government. How important are special tax breaks and other subsides, and do they really work?

by |March 16, 2018
Hurricane maria's destruction in puerto rico

Puerto Rico Faces a Long Road to a Sustainable Future

Puerto Rico suffered an estimated $94 billion or more in damage, on top of an already sagging economy and $74 billion in debt. The island needs a total reboot. Can it do it sustainably?

by |November 30, 2017
wind turbines in water

What’s Next for Offshore Wind in the U.S.?

A panel of experts discusses the challenges and opportunities that lie just off the coast.

by |September 20, 2017

How a Student Project Helped to Change JetBlue’s Course

What began as research at Columbia University became the catalyst for improving the sustainability of an airline, as JetBlue recently forged a 10-year deal to buy 330 million gallons of jet fuel made partially from plants.

by |October 19, 2016

Biofuels And Jet Travel

Global communication and global travel have transformed economic life in our world and have been important tools in improving quality of life for many. They have transformed our world’s culture in ways that we do not yet fully understand. Let’s take the first small steps in building the technology and business models most appropriate to a renewable resource-based sustainable economy.

by |September 26, 2016

Court Ruling on Clean Power Plan a Setback, But…

The Supreme Court’s decision Tuesday to postpone implementation of the Clean Power Plan represents a setback for efforts to combat climate change; but the damage to the U.S. ability to meet pledges it made at the Paris climate summit in December “is less than it might seem,” says Michael Gerrard.

by |February 10, 2016

What is the U.S. Commitment in Paris?

The United States has joined 185 countries in promising to curb carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, develop other ways to mitigate the impacts and to make communities more resilient to climate change. So what exactly is the United States proposing to do?

by |December 11, 2015

From Good Intentions to Deep Decarbonization

The most important issue is whether countries will achieve their 2030 targets in a way that helps them to get to zero emissions by 2070. If they merely pursue measures aimed at reducing emissions in the short term, they risk locking their economies into high levels of emissions after 2030. The critical issue, in short, is not 2030, but what happens afterward.

by |December 2, 2015

U.S. Could Cut Per Capita Greenhouse Emissions 90% by 2050, Says Report

The report says it is possible to revamp the energy system in a way that reduces per capita carbon dioxide emissions from 17 tons per person currently to 1.7 tons in 2050, while still providing all the services people expect, from driving to air conditioning.

by |November 23, 2015

Before Paris, Cause for Optimism

If the international community were to fully understand the threat of climate change, and the likely cost of mitigation and adaptation, perhaps we would commit to continued tax breaks and incentives, and propel the renewable energy transition toward completion. In the long run, I am sure this would be less expensive than coping with the consequences of continued growth in greenhouse gas emissions through 2050.

by |November 18, 2015