Reports on Energy

The reports below represent a sample of Frontier Group’s work on Energy. For more of our reports on this and related topics, please visit Full archive coming soon.

Global Warming and Extreme Weather: The Science, The Forecast, and the Impacts on America

Patterns of extreme weather are changing in the United States, and climate science predicts that further changes are in store. Global Warming and Extreme Weather reviews the latest science linking global warming to expected changes in flooding, snowfall, drought, heat waves, wildfires and hurricanes, and highlights recent extreme weather events across the United States that illustrate the costs of inaction on global warming.

(September 2010)
Charging Ahead: Curbing Oil Consumption with Plug-In Cars

America's current fleet of cars and trucks leaves us dependent on oil, and contributes to air pollution that fuels global warming and harms our health. Charging Ahead, explores the potential of plug-in hybrids, which can get up to 100 miles per gallon of gasoline, and electric vehicles, which use no gasoline at all, to address our energy and global warming challenges. It also tracks the progress of auto manufacturers in the race to produce plug-in cars.

(June 2010)
Working with the Sun: How Solar Power Can Protect North Carolina’s Environment and Create New Jobs

Solar power can curb pollution, protecting public health and North Carolina’s environment. It can also drive North Carolina’s economy forward – creating jobs that can’t be outsourced, and launching new companies to manufacture and install solar power equipment. If the state developed its solar resources on a trajectory to supply 14 percent of the state’s electricity consumption by the year 2030, it would prevent the emission of millions of tons of pollution that contributes to global warming and respiratory health problems, save billions of gallons of water, and create more than 28,000 good-paying jobs. To realize these benefits, North Carolina should nurture and expand demand for solar energy while helping to incubate local solar businesses.

(May 2010)
Utility Work Ahead: A First Look at Progress Toward Meeting EmPOWER Maryland Goals

Maryland adopted the EmPOWER Maryland Act in 2008, establishing clear energy efficiency goals for the state. However, the state is not on track to achieve all of these goals. While utilities are planning to cut power use at peak times, they have failed to propose adequate energy efficiency programs. As a result, Maryland is likely to fall roughly 25 percent short of the energy savings promised under the EmPOWER Maryland Act. Maryland’s utilities must do more to deliver the benefits of energy efficiency to Marylanders. The Public Service Commission needs to make sure that utilities are doing their part to make Maryland more energy efficient.

(April 2010)
Building a Solar Future: Repowering America's Homes, Businesses and Industry with Solar Energy

America has virtually limitless potential to tap the power of the sun. Solar energy is clean, safe, proven, and available everywhere, and the price of many solar technologies is declining rapidly. Building a Solar Future describe the many ways that solar energy can power America's homes, businesses and industry, sets an ambitious target of obtaining 10 percent of America's energy from the sun by 2030, and details a policy vision for overcoming the barriers that have prevented solar energy from making a major contribution to America's energy needs.

(March 2010)
Plug-In Cars: Powering America Toward a Cleaner Future

America's current fleet of cars and trucks leaves us dependent on oil, and contributes to air pollution that fuels global warming and harms our health. Plug-In Cars: Powering America Toward a Cleaner Future, explores the potential of plug-in hybrids, which can get up to 100 miles per gallon of gasoline, and electric vehicles, which use no gasoline at all, to address our energy and global warming challenges. The white paper also identifies potential barriers to the spread of plug-in cars and public policies that can surmount those barriers.

(June 2010)
Ohio's Green Energy Economy: The Energy Efficiency Industry

Energy efficiency is the cleanest, fastest, cheapest way to meet Ohio's energy needs. Investments in energy efficiency reduce pollution and curb dependence on fossil fuels, but they also create jobs and economic opportunity. Ohio's Green Energy Economy: The Energy Efficiency Industry highlights the more than 1,100 businesses in Ohio that help make our homes, businesses and industrial facilities more energy efficient, and suggests policies to further increase Ohio's energy efficiency.

(June 2010)
Toward a Clean Energy Future: The Vision, the Track Record, and the Challenge Ahead for New Jersey's Leaders

Over the past decade, New Jersey has taken important steps on the road to a clean energy future – conserving energy, reducing our contribution to global warming, protecting our air and water quality and improving public health. However, at the beginning of the new decade, the state’s commitment to a clean energy future is less certain. Dirty energy companies are once again lining up at New Jersey’s doorstep, working to build an experimental coal-fired power plant and new power lines that could increase New Jersey’s global warming footprint. Newly elected Governor Chris Christie has an opportunity to ensure continued progress. By embracing the state’s existing clean energy goals – and by enacting real, concrete policies to make those goals reality – Governor Christie can help the state do its part to stop the worst impacts of global warming and ensure a reliable, affordable electricity supply.

(June 2010)
America on the Move: State Leadership in the Fight Against Global Warming and What it Means for the World

Even during the Bush administration, when the federal government stood in the way of action to address global warming, state governments were taking innovative steps to promote clean energy and reduce global warming pollution. America on the Move shows that those efforts – combined with recent actions taken by the Obama administration – are significant on a global scale, and will reduce global warming pollution in 2020 by more than 500 million metric tons per year. These broad and ambitious efforts by the states are evidence that America is ready to embrace necessary reductions in global warming emissions.

(December 2009)
Growing Solar in North Carolina: Solar Power's Role in a Clean Energy Future

Solar power is a real energy option for North Carolina, blessed with sunlight on nearly 250 days per year. North Carolinians have already started tapping into the state’s solar energy reserves. In 2008, North Carolina’s installed solar capacity grew more than six-fold, from 0.7 to 4.7 megawatts. Solar energy can become a major source of electricity for North Carolina in the next two decades – Growing Solar in North Carolina quantifies how much energy solar power could provide using available rooftops and land in the state, and how much could be installed over the next two decades with favorable policies.

(November 2009)
The Power of Offshore Wind: A Source of Clean, Reliable, Affordable Electricity for Maryland's Future

The wind blowing over the ocean along Maryland's coast is a vast, untapped energy resource. Capturing just a fraction of this resource can help to modernize Maryland's electricity system for the 21st century and give the state greater control over its energy destiny. The Power of Offshore Wind shows how wind turbines deployed offshore could deliver large amounts of pollution-free electricity at a stable price – a bargain-rate insurance policy against unpredictable spikes in the cost of electricity and against the serious prospect of global warming. The report suggests policies that could result in the development of a new offshore wind farm along the Atlantic coast by 2014.

(November 2009)
Generating Failure: How Building Nuclear Power Plants Would Set America Back in the Race Against Global Warming

The nuclear industry has worked tirelessly over the last decade to position itself as a solution to global warming. However, Generating Failure concludes that nuclear power is too slow and too expensive for the job. To do its part in the fight against global warming, America must cut power plant emissions roughly in half over the next 10 years. Building new nuclear reactors could contribute little or nothing to this effort, since only a handful of new reactors — if any — could be operational within the next decade. Meanwhile, building new reactors would cost billions of dollars, diverting resources from more cost-effective energy strategies. Moreover, nuclear power is not necessary to provide clean, carbon-free electricity for the long haul.

(November 2009)
Building for a Clean Energy Future: How Texas Can Reduce Pollution, Save Energy and Cut Costs with Efficient Solar Homes

Texas can reduce its dependence on dirty, dangerous and expensive fossil fuels by adopting new, high performance home designs. Using energy-efficient technology and small-scale solar energy systems, homes can be built to generate as much energy as they use, achieving “net-zero energy” performance. If all new homes reach this level of performance by 2020, then by 2030 the state would avoid the need to build seven new large power plants, reduce annual global warming pollution by an amount equivalent to eliminating emissions from more than 3 million Texas cars and trucks, and reduce homeowners’ energy bills by more than $5 billion. To unlock the potential of high-performance homes, Texas and federal officials should encourage the spread of efficient home designs and small-scale renewable energy technologies such as solar energy systems.

(October 2009)
The High Cost of Fossil Fuels: Why Americans Can't Afford to Depend on Dirty Energy

America’s dependence on fossil fuels is costly – both in terms of up-front costs and in the negative economic and environmental side-effects of fossil fuel use. Fossil fuels cost the United States billions of dollars each year, and nationwide spending could total as much as $30 trillion between 2010 and 2030. Secondary impacts from our fossil fuel use, such as global warming, air pollution and fossil fuel-related disasters like oil spills, also inflict billions of dollars of expense on our economy. Instead of paying to maintain our costly status quo, the United States should invest in a clean energy future.

(June 2009)
Too Much Pollution: State and National Trends in Global Warming Emissions from 1990 to 2007

For decades, America’s global warming pollution from fossil fuel use has been on the rise. But this trend is starting to change in some states—in part because of the move to clean energy. Too Much Pollution shows that emissions of carbon dioxide, the leading global warming pollutant, increased by 19 percent in the United States from 1990 to 2007. Nationally, the rate of emissions growth has slowed in recent years, and emissions peaked in many states in 2004 and 2005. Seventeen states saw declines in carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use between 2004 and 2007.

(October 2009)