Adam Stein predicts that the financial meltdown will cool the ardor for carbon legislation, and I agree. But that doesn’t mean that policymakers will throw up their hands. Here are my predictions.

One, the framing will shift from making fossil fuels more expensive (e.g. putting a price on carbon, a carbon tax, etc.) to making renewables cheaper (e.g.’s motto: RE<C).

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Two, it’s a great time to be in the efficiency business.

And finally, policymakers, especially at state and local levels, will give a hard look at no-cost ways to help. To that point, the Network for New Energy Choices just released an excellent new report, Taking the Red Tape out of Green Power, detailing the ways obtuse permitting requirements frustrate the blooming of a green energy economy. It’s a timely reminder that the path to renewables isn’t just about providing incentives, but also removing roadblocks.

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Sue Kately of CalSEIA has asked me to note that many of the issues PV faces are also challenges for solar hot-water heating, and remedies should be mindful of solar thermal as well. So noted.