Adam Browning

Adam Browning is the executive director of Vote Solar.

Gulf oil spill and Florida politics

There’s been a lot of discussion about what the Gulf oilspill means for federal clean energy legislation.  The same thing has been happening at the state level as well. Take Florida.  The Florida Legislature has debated clean energy legislation in the last several sessions, and has come heartbreakingly close to passage several times, only to have the process derailed in the 11th hour.  This year was no different, when the session closed about a week after the spill began, with no clean energy progress. With the tragedy unfolding off the coast, Governor Crist has indicated that now may be a …


I got one word for you: Globama. You can’t not click the link.  Try and resist–it’s impossible. There’s actually a pretty funny history there.  My friend and mentor Steven Strong did the current install on the pool house.  Word is, he waited until George was out of town, then gave the paperwork to Laura for sign-off.  Once approved, he screwed that thing down so tight it’s never coming off.  Reagan-proofed it, as it were.

SF keeping PACE

The built environment is responsible for something like 72% of electricity use and ~36% of greenhouse gas emission in the US.  How to get at that chunk of embedded carbon? On Monday, the City of San Francisco launched Green Finance SF, the country’s largest Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program.  The bonding capacity is up to $150 million, though actual size of issuance will depend on property-owner interest.  Both residential and commercial property owners are eligible. The program finances energy efficiency upgrades, water conservation measures, and solar thermal and solar photovoltaic systems.  In fact, program participants will have to …

Arizona introduces bill to redefine renewable standard to include nukes

In Arizona, a new bill has been introduced that would kill renewable energy progress in the state. HB 2701 would establish a legislative version of the Arizona Corporation Commission’s regulatorily-implemented Renewable Energy Standard of 15% by 2020, but with some tragic differences. For one, the bill would redefine renewables to include large hydro and nuclear. The problem—in addition to the obvious—is that this would simply redefine the goal as something that already exists. Arizona Public Service, the largest utility in the state, gets 27% of its retail energy from nuclear in 2009. Salt River Project projects that 17% of its …

Let 'em know solar had you at hello

Show solar some love

My colleagues at Vote Solar thought that making a viral valentine (two words, by the way, that really shouldn’t go together) would be a great idea. Something campy, something funny, something that also makes the point that a relationship with solar — like one with a special Valentine — can have a lot of benefits. This YouTube classic was the inspiration. Note to self: taking cues from YouTube can be hazardous to your dignity. I can’t even watch the result.  But, for the cause, I post it here:

Something old, something Newsom

San Francisco sets the PACE

Today, San Francisco Mayor Newsom signed the final piece of legislation necessary to get the city’s PACE (municipal property tax financing for energy efficiency, renewables, and water conservation) program off the ground. My colleague Rosalind Jackson recorded the moment for posterity. By summer, if all goes as scheduled, 70-80% of California will have access to a PACE program. That’s good news for property owners and the carbon cause. Signficantly, most of the state’s PACE programs will require some sort of loading order — a certain level of energy efficiency first before you can do solar PV or solar thermal. This …

A ballot initiative by any other name ...

Anti-jobs ‘California Jobs Initiative’ crew threatens suit over name change

This is funny. A group in California is working on a ballot initiative to suspend implementation of AB 32, the state’s global warming law, until California’s unemployment drops below 5.5% for four consecutive quarters. No big fans of green jobs, one presumes. Their proposed title? The “California Jobs Initiative.” The Luntzian nomenclature reminds me of Bush’s “Healthy Forests Initiative,” which did have its own perverse logic, in that a clearcut forest and denuded hillsides are significantly less at risk for major fires. In any event, California Attorney General Jerry Brown gets final say on ballot initiative naming, and he prefers: …

California net metering battle, v2

The California legislature is considering whether to lift caps on net metering, a key policy that allows solar system owners to get full credit for generating solar electricity. As legislators consider this policy choice, they may want to look into how solar benefits California’s public schools–who are getting into the solar business in a big way.  If fighting the climate crisis isn’t motivation enough, and if creating new jobs or establishing leadership in the next global industrial revolution doesn’t float your boat, then how about supporting solar for the sake of schools? The federal government has made special financing options …

Freeway in LA…for bikes?

Advocates in famously car-centric Los Angeles are advocating for a new freeway system.  For bikes. The weather is great, the streets are gridlocked, and the city is flat-ish.  No brainer.

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