Todd Woody

Todd Woody is an environmental and technology journalist based in California who writes for The New York Times, Quartz, and other publications.

Solar Power

Report: Homebuyers willing to pay premium for solar

Okay, I’m a little slow on the uptake on this but I’ve been pursing a recent report from Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory on the effect of installing a rooftop solar array on the sale price of homes in California. (It makes for dense reading and unless you’re really into “hedonic pricing models” and “difference-in-difference model,” you might want to stick with the two-page summary.) The upshot: California homes that sport solar panels sell for a $17,000 premium for an average newish 3.1-kilowatt photovoltaic array. “This is a sizable effect,” Ryan Wiser, a staff scientist at the Lab and a coauthor of …

Solar Power

On Coachella’s solar stage

It was a sunny year at the 2011 Coachella Music Festival, and the stage is set for the town’s new concentrating photovoltaic farm.Photo: Paige K. ParsonsAn interesting solar development got buried by Thursday’s big news that French fossil fuel conglomerate Total had agreed to acquire a majority stake in SunPower, the Silicon Valley photovoltaic panel maker and power plant development. That $1.37 billion Total is spending on SunPower naturally overshadowed the Southern California desert community of Coachella’s announcement that it had flipped the switch on a 420-kilowatt concentrating photovoltaic farm at its water reclamation plant. Don’t yawn. Here’s why the …


What’s next for the enviro-business coalition that defeated California’s Prop 23?

Now that we’ve put together some green muscle, what will we do with it?Photo: Denis GilesMuch of the green movement has been mounting a rearguard fight in Washington to fend off attempts to gut the U.S. EPA in the wake of the Republican sweep of the 2010 elections. California, as usual, is heading down a different road. The enviro-business coalition that defeated Prop 23, Texas oil companies’ attempt to derail the state’s global-warming law, is stepping up effort to push lawmakers to expand California’s climate-change efforts. First, the No on 23 campaign led by billionaire hedge-fund manager Tom Steyer resurfaced …