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Articles by 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.

Featured Article

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 site on their own property. My reading of the proposed legislation is that subscriptions in a solar garden would be financial securities, and fall under securities laws. That’s probably a good thing.

Solar for everyone

Solar panels are elitist: They cost a lot of money, and only homeowners with good solar access can usefully install them. This means that renters and people who can’t come up with at least $5,000 to $10,000 worth of cash or credit can’t own them. That’s the problem Colorado House Bill 10-1342 (HB1342): Community Solar Gardens aims to correct.

HB1342 defines a community solar garden (CSG) as “A solar electric generation facility with a nameplate rating of two megawatts or les … where the beneficial use of the electricity generated by the facility belongs to the subscribers to the community solar garden.” A subscriber is a “retail customer of a qualifying retail utility who owns a s... Read more

All Articles

  • 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 the world by tackling the trickiest problems in addressing climate change.  One of their current focus points is biochar [pdf].  […]

  • 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 2A report, which outlined potential transmission corridors to collect renewable energy from Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) that had been […]

  • ‘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. In fact, no state can meet its electricity demand through local renewables without expensive electricity storage. On a national basis, […]

  • 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 copy of a March paper by Andrew Morriss et al at University of Illinois that attempts to debunk green jobs […]