Stephen Lacey

Stephen Lacey is a reporter with Climate Progress covering clean energy issues. He formerly worked as a producer/editor at RenewableEnergyWorld.com.

Renewable Energy

Top 10 clean energy stories of 2011

Cross-posted from Climate Progress. What an odd year. While businesses around the world were making record-level investments in renewables and efficiency, a growing number of conservative politicians and members of the American media punditry — lead by the outrageously ignorant “reporting” by Fox News — have been foolishly projecting (even cheering on) the demise of the sector. Aside from the mind-boggling disparity between the science and politics of climate change, I’ve never seen such a large gap between perception and what’s actually happening on the ground. Of course, we can’t ignore the enormous challenges — from cheap natural gas to relentless …

Oil

Photos don’t lie: See the dramatic expansion of Canadian tar sands

Cross-posted from Climate Progress. Extraction of Alberta’s energy-intensive tar sands has expanded steadily in recent years, with about 232 square miles now exposed by mining operations. Tar-sands production is expected to double over the next decade, which could mean the destruction of 740,000 acres of boreal forest and a 30-percent increase in carbon emissions from Canada’s oil and gas sector. New satellite images show the dramatic expansion that has taken place from 2001 through 2011: Photos: Robert Simmon, NASA/Landsat/USGS So what’s the actual impact on the ground? Here’s what happens when you turn a carbon sink like the Boreal Forest …

Energy Policy

Vermont’s ‘energy secession’ goal: 90 percent renewables by 2050

Renewable energy could become a standard part of Vermont’s idyllic image.Photo: Sterling CollegeCross-posted from Climate Progress. Vermont is known for its lush Green Mountains, idyllic farm landscapes, and progressive politics. What many people may not realize is that Vermont has a pretty active secessionist movement too. Vermont isn’t likely to secede from the U.S. But it is undertaking an ambitious renewable energy program that could at least put it on a path toward “energy secession” — developing a road map for procuring 90 percent of its heat, electricity, and fuels from renewables by 2050. Under Vermont’s new governor, Peter Shumlin, …