Tom Konrad

Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA, is a policy wonk and investment analyst writer focused on clean energy. He writes about Clean Energy policy and economics at Clean Energy Wonk and Clean Energy investing at Alt Energy Stocks.

Community solar gardens

A new bill being considered in the Colorado legislature would create “solar gardens.” Solar gardens allow people to participate financially in owning part of a solar array even if they do not have a suitable …

The Nitrogen-Biochar Link

  by Tom Konrad, Ph.D. Promoters of Biochar should ally with fishermen and other groups concerned about ocean dead zones caused by nitrogen runoff. The folks at the Carbon War Room are trying to save …

Is there a tradeoff between economics and the environment?

This article was first published on Clean Energy Wonk. California’s RETI process lends insight into the near-term prospects of solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass.   In September, California’s Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative (RETI) released their Phase …

‘Heretic’ battles straw man

Energy Self-Reliant States [PDF], a flawed study on local Renewable Energy availability from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ISLR) found that 18 of the 50 states could not meet their electricity needs with local renewables. …

Green jobs: debunking the debunkers

Energy markets are neither free nor efficient, so traditional economic arguments against regulation and other government interventions do not apply.  In response to my recent article digging into green jobs, a reader sent me a …

Not all green jobs are created equal

The stimulus package and the climate bill recently passed by the US House and now being considered in the Senate will create jobs while delivering a boost to our economy. A “green” stimulus will create …

Making the grade

The candidates on clean energy

Politicians will always have an influence on the stock market, through regulation, tax policy, incentives, and more. This truism is only more certain in energy policy, where electricity markets and transport are highly regulated and the next administration is widely expected to enact some sort of carbon regulation, if not a tax. This weekend, I heard the head of the Colorado Governor's Energy Office speak on what the state administration is doing on energy policy (PDF). Our current governor, Bill Ritter, ran on a three-part platform: working to fix Colorado's healthcare, transportation, and energy policies. Last year, the administration mostly focused on energy, and although healthcare and transportation will get more attention this year, there are already several energy bills on the legislative slate. This is because "Nobody is certain what to do about transportation or health care, but we do know what to do about Energy." This scenario may also be familiar to residents of California. Since we do know what to do about energy, do the remaining U.S. presidential candidates? From the news coverage, I have to admit I'm far from certain. My impression has been that most of the Democrats and John McCain among the Republicans have been talking a good game, but repeated mentions of potentially problematic technologies and policies such as "clean coal," biofuels, carbon cap-and-trade, nuclear power, and even coal to liquids, leave me wondering if even the best of intentions might lead to bungled energy policy. If I were president ...

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