Policy Solutions

All Policy Documents Tagged renewable energy

Clean Energy in Chile
Powering Chile’s Future with Renewables and Efficiency
Analysis
Chile can meet its energy demands in the coming decades through a variety of "non-conventional renewable energy" (NCRE) sources and energy efficiency technologies supplementing its existing generation base.
The American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act is a Step to Building our Clean Energy Future
Legislative Analysis
Senator Markey's legislation to establish a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) and standalone Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) would put in place key tools in the fight to address dangerous climate change. In order to meet our generational obligation to cut carbon pollution our nation must transition from polluting fossil fuels to clean energy sources like wind, solar, and energy efficiency. The American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act will promote clean energy sources that cut carbon pollution, further expand our powerful clean energy economy which currently employs hundreds of thousands of American workers, drive innovation, and provide a strong market signal that the future lies in clean, renewable energy developed here in America. Get document in pdf.
America's (Amazingly) Good Energy News
NRDC’s First Annual Energy & Environment Report
Report
For decades, America's energy news trended from bad to worse, beginning with the oil crises of the 1970s. However, NRDC recently conducted an exhaustive analysis that found a remarkable turnaround. Based on key economic, security, and environmental indicators, the state of the U.S. energy economy has never been better. And in an era of escalating Mideast turmoil and gyrating oil prices, this accumulated resilience could hardly be more timely.
State Renewable Portfolio Standards Create Jobs and Promote Clean Energy
Renewable Portfolio Standards attract new industries, create jobs, and keep state businesses competitive, while encouraging development of renewable power like wind, solar, and biomass.
Issue Paper
Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) move states toward clean, renewable energy by requiring that a percentage of a state’s electricity sold or generated must come from renewable sources within a certain time period. These statutes have enjoyed strong bipartisan support because of their proven ability to attract new industries, create jobs, and keep state businesses competitive, while encouraging development of renewable power like wind, solar, and biomass.
Aviation Biofuel Sustainability Survey
Issue Brief
To assess the current state of aviation biofuel sustainability certification, and to support the use of certification in the aviation fuel supply chain, NRDC has generated its inaugural Aviation Biofuel Sustainability Survey.
American Wind Farms
Breaking Down the Benefits from Planning to Production
Issue Paper
Across America, the U.S. wind industry is exceeding expectations. This report offers a snapshot of this emerging trend, and points the way forward for a clean energy future. We must continue this momentum by promoting strong energy policies, beginning with an extension of the Production Tax Credit for wind energy, a crucial step towards building a strong, sustainable, market leading U.S. wind industry.
At Wind Speed
How the U.S. Wind Industry is Rapidly Growing Our Local Economies
Issue Brief
Over the last two decades, the U.S. wind industry has grown dramatically. Across the country, more than 50,000 megawatts of wind power are installed, and American companies dominate the global wind turbine industry. This report shows how wind power is creating much-needed jobs, reducing pollution that harms our children's health, and cutting our dependence on dirty and limited fossil fuels.
Saving Energy in Server Rooms and Closets
Issue Paper
Energy waste in U.S. server rooms and closets represents the equivalent output of seven medium-size coal-fired power plants, costing U.S. businesses over $2 billion per year in unnecessary electricity.
From Crisis to Opportunity
How China is Addressing Climate Change and Positioning Itself to be a Leader in Clean Energy
Fact Sheet
China and the United States are the world’s largest emitters of global warming pollution, and as both nations face an increasing dependence on foreign oil and dirty coal, their joint leadership is crucially needed to address global climate change and move the world to a clean energy economy. To combat global warming, China has committed to reduce its carbon intensity by 40 to 45 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, increase the share of non-fossil energy in its primary energy consumption to around 15 percent by 2020, and increase forest coverage.To meet these targets, China is moving to strategically establish itself as a leader in developing and deploying the clean energy solutions of the future: wind and solar power; advanced coal technology; electric vehicles, advanced batteries and high-speed rail; smart grid technology; and more energy efficient industries, buildings, lighting, and appliances.
Get document in pdf.
Let the VEETC Expire: Moving Beyond Corn Ethanol Means Less Waste, Less Pollution and More Jobs
Fact Sheet
Transitioning to low-carbon fuels is crucial to breaking America's dependence on oil and curbing global warming. But while some biofuels reduce pollution, others pollute more than the oil they replace. Unfortunately, the biggest government incentive program for biofuels -- the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) -- fails to differentiate between biofuels, and has wasted $20 billion taxpayer dollars subsidizing a polluting corn ethanol industry. By subsidizing any type of ethanol, the VEETC comes at the expense of supporting clean energy technologies like wind, solar, and advanced biofuels -- made from sustainable crops like willow -- that create more green jobs and far less pollution. Congress is considering a 5-year extension of the VEETC that would cost taxpayers $31 billion. NRDC urges Congress to let the VEETC expire and replace it with a smarter, cheaper, and greener biofuels tax credit that rewards real environmental performance. Get document in pdf.
A Clean Energy Economy for Montana
Building Rural Communities Through Renewable Resources Development
Issue Paper
Rich in natural resources and fertile land, Montana has a historically stable and increasingly diverse economy. But the global economic downturn is impacting communities throughout the state, with unemployment climbing by 69 percent since the start of 2008. Montana can use its bountiful renewable resources to build a strong long-term economy and secure a prosperous future as a national leader in producing clean energy. 
A Clean Energy Economy for North Dakota
Analysis of the Rural Economic Development Potential of Renewable Resources
Issue Paper
North Dakota has a strong and diverse economy based on agriculture, energy, minerals, and tourism. Arguably the state with the greatest clean energy potential, North Dakota is in a prime position to become a key supplier of renewable energy and the tools to produce it -- provided that national policies are enacted to put America on the path to a clean energy future.
A Clean Energy Economy for Indiana
Analysis of the Rural Economic Development Potential of Renewable Resources
Report
Indiana's advanced network of rail lines, interstate highways, and waterways has made it "the Crossroads of America." But the global economic downturn has hit Indiana hard, causing the loss of almost 200,000 jobs since the beginning of 2008. Facing an unprecedented set of economic challenges, Indiana is poised for healthy growth if it can take advantage of the enormous potential for development of its renewable resources.
A Clean Energy Economy for Arkansas
Analysis of the Rural Economic Development Potential of Renewable Resources
Issue Paper
To secure its economic future, Arkansas has the opportunity to build a strong long-term economy on the solid foundation of its bountiful renewable resources. The state's vast areas of productive farmland, ample water, windy heights and favorable climate combine to give Arkansas the potential to become a national leader in producing the clean energy that America needs.
A Clean Energy Economy for Missouri
Analysis of the Rural Economic Development Potential of Renewable Resources
Issue Paper
Within Missouri's borders, dispersed across the state, are vast resources of wind, land, and water—all the ingredients needed for Missouri to become a national leader in new energy development, creating tens of thousands of good jobs and substantial new sources of income for farmers. This June 2009 issue paper examines the potential for renewable energy resource development in Missouri and its benefits to rural communities.
Picking a Clean Energy Plan
NRDC's Plug-In Alternative is More Efficient than the Pickens Plan
Fact Sheet
From oil price volatility to global warming and national security concerns, it is clear that our current reliance on oil is unsustainable. Even oil industry veteran T. Boone Pickens has proposed a plan (the “Pickens Plan”) to rapidly reduce oil dependency by increasing wind power and using natural gas to power vehicles. NRDC agrees with the urgency behind the Pickens Plan and supports the broad expansion of clean, renewable electricity. But the Pickens Plan does not contemplate the full range of options. We believe that pursuing the best outcome rather than preselected technologies will reveal more effective ways to put our natural gas resources to work. As one example, we examine here an alternative proposal, “The Plug-in Alternative,” that would get the most mileage out of our renewable and clean-burning energy sources while sharply reducing our dependence on dirtier sources like oil and coal. Get document in pdf.
The Billion Gallon Challenge
How America Can Produce One Billion Gallons of the Best Biofuels By 2014
Fact Sheet
To avoid the worst impacts of global warming, we need to make low-carbon biofuels work. But the best biofuels have yet to make the jump from the lab to the pump. As a first step, policy makers should stop spending tax dollars on the dirty biofuels of yesterday and start paying for performance, while maintaining our existing safeguards and standards. But that’s not enough. We need to jumpstart the best biofuels and make them work for our economy and our environment. We need a Billion Gallon Challenge. Get document in pdf.
Herseth Sandlin Bill (H.R. 1190) Turns Biofuels into Dirty Fuels
Legislative Analysis
Herseth Sandlin Bill (H.R. 1190) Turns Biofuels into Dirty Fuels Current law ensures the Renewable Fuel Standard's five-fold increase in biofuels results in better fuels, not just different dirty fuels. The Herseth Sandlin bill would strike critical safeguards established by the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) and turn an important step forward into a counterproductive leap backward. Get document in pdf.
Support Renewable Energy Grants Program In House Economic Recovery Bill
Legislative Analysis
For almost two decades, production and investment tax credits have been the primary tool used by the federal government to encourage extensive deployment of clean energy technologies such as wind, solar, and geothermal, and the production of high efficiency appliances. Unfortunately, the current economic climate is drastically reducing profits and thus tax liabilities, which is limiting the effectiveness of these tax credits. Without smart federal action, the construction of new renewable power projects and the manufacture and purchase of new, super-efficient appliances will plummet. Get document in pdf.
Powering Up Renewable Electricity
NRDC's Roadmap for Immediate and Cost-Effective Renewables Deployment
Fact Sheet
Renewable electricity is the energy of the future — it can reduce global warming emissions, moderate the long-term cost of power and help ensure our energy independence and national security by phasing out fossil fuels. To realize these benefits, we must cap carbon emissions which will put a price on global warming pollution while simultaneously helping to launch emerging renewables into the marketplace. Get document in pdf.
Testimony of Nathanael Greene, Director of Renewable Energy Policy, on Biofuels and the Renewable Fuel Standard
Testimony
In this testimony presented before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, Nathanael makes the case for protecting key environmental safeguards in the RFS and proactively addressing the food vs fuel debate through reforming the biofuels tax credits and import tariffs by making them performance based and technology neutral.
Boosting the Benefits
Improving Air Quality and Health by Reducing Global Warming Pollution in California
Issue Paper
California has the opportunity to combat global warming while simultaneously improving air quality and public health throughout the state. Measures being considered under the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) could save hundreds of lives and prevent thousands of other negative health impacts each year -- saving billions of dollars in healthcare costs.
Statement on the Amended Renewable Fuel Standard
Testimony
Testimony by Nathanael Greene before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality on the importance of the minimum lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions standards and land and wildlife safeguards in the recently amended renewable fuel standard.
Putting Biofuels on the Right Track
Renewable Fuels Standard Safeguards Protect Wildlife and the Environment
Fact Sheet
RFS safeguards can ensure that biofuels are done right, and don't just become another dirty fuel. Get document in pdf.
The New Energy Economy
Putting America on the Path to Solving Global Warming
Issue Paper
How America and the world respond to global warming and our growing demand for energy -- and whether we respond in time -- will determine what kind of planet we have for generations to come. Fortunately, many of the technologies and policy tools we need to make the shift to cleaner energy solutions already exist, and we can deploy them without harming the economy. NRDC outlines six energy-sector opportunities that can help America reduce global warming pollution. The next step is decisive action by the U.S. government to facilitate these investments and reduce our global warming pollution the necessary 80 percent, or 10.6 billion tons, by 2050.
Testimony on Implementation of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS)
Testimony
Testimony by NRDC Senior Policy Analyst, Nathanael Greene, before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, October 24, 2007. This testimony address the environmental promises and challenges of biofuels, the general policies needed to get biofuels right and the changes to the proposed expanded renewable fuels standard needed to drive the market for the best biofuels technologies.
Coal Is Hazardous to Your Health
Coal-fired power plants threaten the environment and your health.
Index
Burning coal releases enormous amounts of harmful pollutants into the air and water, with serious health consequences. Waste generated by coal-fired power plants contains hazardous pollutants that can contaminate our drinking water and cause cancer, birth defects and reproductive problems. This index of fact sheets describes the health hazards of our continued reliance on coal.
Getting Biofuels Right
Eight steps for reaping real environmental benefits from biofuels
Fact Sheet
America's transportation sector is the key link between our ever-growing dependence on oil and global warming pollution. The oil that powers our cars and trucks accounts for two-thirds of our total oil use and generates one-third of the U.S. carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming. Energy efficiency is the cleanest, cheapest, and fastest way to cut oil demand, but it is only a part of the package. NRDC research shows that liquid motor vehicle fuels made from plant matter, such as ethanol, butanol, and biodiesel, can be a large and important tool for ending our dependence on oil and stopping global warming -- but only if we get them right. Get document in pdf.
Driving It Home: Choosing the Right Path for Fueling North America's Transportation Future
Choosing the Right Path for Fueling North America's Transportation Future
Report
North America faces an energy crossroads. With the world fast approaching the end of cheap, plentiful conventional oil, we must choose between developing ever-dirtier sources of fossil fuels -- at great cost to our health and environment -- or setting a course for a more sustainable energy future of clean, renewable fuels.
Costa Rica: Setting the Pace for Reducing Global Warming Pollution and Phasing Out Oil
Fact Sheet
Already a world leader in renewable energy use and tropical forest conservation, Costa Rica has declared the goal of becoming the world’s first carbon neutral country. To achieve this goal, Costa Rica must reduce its dependence on oil and increase investment in domestic renewable energy production and demand reduction strategies. Get document in pdf.
Global Warming’s Effects on Florida’s Oceans and Coasts Demand Immediate Action
Fact Sheet
NRDC and our partners are fighting to revive and protect Florida's thriving coastal and ocean economy by promoting measures that will reduce global warming pollution and protect coastal habitats and restore robust fisheries. Get document in pdf.
Biofuels: The Growing Solution to Energy Dependence and Global Warming
The Growing Solution to Energy Dependence and Global Warming
Index
In the fight to stop global warming and break our addiction to oil America needs to employ all our ingenuity. We need more efficient vehicles and we need a clean and renewable alternative to oil. Biofuels produced and used responsibly can be a component of a strategy to beat back global warming. This index collects NRDC studies, analyses and other policy materials that answer some of the most pressing questions about these fuels.

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Recent Legislative Fact Sheets

The American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act is a Step to Building our Clean Energy Future
Senator Markey's legislation to establish a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) and standalone Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) would put in place key tools in the fight to address dangerous climate change. In order to meet our...
It's Time to Build an Economy that is Stronger, Cleaner, Healthier, and Made to Last
Clean energy and energy efficiency have provided a robust source for economic growth and innovation during difficult times and we should not reverse course. The impending budget sequester and expiring tax incentives will significantly reduce...
State Hydraulic Fracturing Disclosure Rules and Enforcement: A Comparison
This analysis provides a comprehensive comparison of existing disclosure requirements for states with hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, operations. It finds more than half of the states with hydraulic fracturing activity currently have no...

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