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.

Energizing Ohio’s Economy: Creating Jobs and Reducing Pollution with Wind Power

Developing Ohio’s wind energy resources will advance Ohio’s economy. Clean, renewable and home-grown wind energy will help to make Ohio more energy independent, create jobs, increase incomes, and help to prepare our economy for a potential national cap on global warming pollution. Energizing Ohio’s Economy uses an economic model to evaluate the impact of increasing wind energy production to 20 percent of Ohio retail electricity sales by 2020, in comparison with continuing business as usual. We find that wind energy can provide significant benefits for Ohio’s economy and environment. Accordingly, wind power and other renewable energy resources should play a central part in Ohio’s energy policy.

(August 2007)
Powering New Jersey's Future: A Clean Energy Strategy for Replacing the Oyster Creek and Salem Nuclear Plants

New Jersey’s electricity grid faces increasing strains from rising demand. At the same time, three of the state’s four nuclear reactors – located at the Oyster Creek and Salem nuclear power plants – are scheduled to retire by 2020. The state’s nuclear power plants pose environmental, health and safety problems. Powering New Jersey’s Future describes how the Garden State can meet its electricity needs while retiring its nuclear power plants on schedule, by moving aggressively to boost the energy efficiency of the state’s economy, invest in renewable energy, promote the use of energy-saving combined-heat-and-power technology, and manage electricity demand.

(May 2007)
Solar Water Heating: How California Can Reduce Its Dependence on Natural Gas

Solar hot water systems capture energy from the sun to heat water for homes and businesses, thereby displacing the use of natural gas, or in some cases electricity, with free and limitless solar energy. Solar Water Heating finds that increasing the use of solar hot water heaters could save California 1.2 billion therms of natural gas a year, the equivalent of 24 percent of all gas use in homes. To prevent global warming pollution, reduce dependence on imported fuel, and ease the price of natural gas, California should act now by jumpstarting a mainstream market for solar hot water.

(April 2007)
The High Cost of Nuclear Power: Why Maryland Can't Afford a Nuclear Reactor

Constellation Energy has proposed building a third reactor at the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant in Maryland. The High Cost of Nuclear Power shows that building a new reactor would be expensive, threaten public health and safety, and damage the environment. Maryland should refuse to subsidize construction of a new reactor and instead invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy.

(March 2007)
Energizing Michigan’s Economy: Creating Jobs and Reducing Pollution with Energy Efficiency and Renewable Electric Power

Michigan is facing serious choices about the future of its electricity system. With a growing demand for electricity, the state is considering building new coal-fired or nuclear power plants to meet its electricity needs. However, Energizing Michigan’s Economy shows that a serious program to improve the efficiency of electricity use and tap into the state’s home-grown renewable energy resources would have stronger benefits for the state economy. Such a New Energy Future would create jobs, save consumers money, stabilize energy prices, make Michigan more energy independent, reduce long-term economic and environmental risk from global warming pollution and ensure that more of Michigan’s energy dollars stay in the local economy, as opposed to paying for coal, gas and uranium from out of state.

(February 2007)
Energy for Colorado's Economy: Creating Jobs and Economic Growth with Renewable Energy

In November 2004, the citizens of Colorado became the first in the nation to vote on and pass a statewide renewable energy requirement. Xcel Energy, the state’s largest investor-owned utility, responded by signing contracts for 775 megawatts of new wind farms in Colorado in 2006, demonstrating that the requirement could be met easily and quickly. Energy for Colorado’s Economy quantifies the benefits of setting the bar even higher, requiring the state’s top utilities to reach 20 percent renewable energy by 2020, concluding that a deeper commitment to renewable power will create more jobs, stimulate the economy, stabilize energy prices and further reduce the long-term economic and environmental risk from global warming pollution.

(February 2007)
The Road to a New Energy Future: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Technologies for a Cleaner, More Secure Energy Future

America doesn’t have to wait for revolutionary new technologies to get serious about addressing our nation’s energy crisis. The technology exists today to use energy far more efficiently in our cars, homes, and businesses and to get more of our energy from clean, renewable sources. The Road to a New Energy Future, a companion paper to A New Energy Future (Fall 2006), profiles the many technologies and practices that can help America achieve a cleaner energy future. It also describes the critical role of research and development in producing the next wave of clean energy technologies.

(October 2006)
A New Energy Future: The Benefits of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy for Cutting America's Use of Fossil Fuels

America faces an energy crisis. Oil and natural gas supplies are increasingly uncertain and prices for both fuels have set records recently. Meanwhile, our consumption of coal is contributing significantly to global warming, and other technologies – like nuclear power – are too dangerous, too expensive or both. A New Energy Future describes how renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies that largely exist today can cut America’s dependence on fossil fuels. By moving aggressively to promote clean energy, the report finds, America could cut its oil imports and coal consumption by as much as 80 percent compared to today’s levels.

(September 2006)
Building Solutions: Energy Efficient Homes Save Money and Reduce Global Warming

Residential heating is responsible for 17 percent of Vermont’s global warming pollution. Heating contributes such a large share of pollution in the state because 50 percent of homes pre-date energy efficiency standards, a high percentage of furnaces are old and inefficient, and high-emission heating fuels are common. Building Solutions finds that by improving the efficiency of homes and heating equipment, Vermont could reduce global warming pollution from residential heating by 20 percent by 2020.

(October 2006)
Greening the Bottom Line: California Companies Save Money by Reducing Global Warming Pollution

Pioneering businesses across California are beginning to do their share to cut global warming pollution. At the same time, these businesses are finding that reducing pollution can improve competitiveness and help the bottom line – cutting energy costs, reducing exposure to volatile fossil fuel and electricity prices, and attracting environmentally aware customers. Greening the Bottom Line highlights 12 such businesses or institutions and demonstrates the kinds of gains that can be had across California from an organized, statewide effort to reduce the state’s global warming pollution, demonstrating that action against global warming can be good for California businesses and our environment at the same time.

(August 2006)
Making Sense of the "Coal Rush": The Consequences of Expanding America's Dependence on Coal

As of June 2006, energy companies are proposing to build 150 new coal-fired plants across America, investing up to $137 billion. If energy companies succeed in building even a fraction of these new power plants, it would have major impacts on America’s environment and economy, and consume investment dollars that could otherwise promote more sustainable energy sources like energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. Making Sense of the Coal Rush describes the dangers posed by an ill-considered rush to build coal-fired power plants and proposes policy changes and other actions that can put America on a more sensible energy path.

(July 2006)
Challenging Nuclear Power in the States: Policy and Organizing Tools for Slowing the "Nuclear Renaissance"

For the first time in more than three decades, there are viable proposals to build new nuclear power plants in the United States. Given the nuclear industry’s history of cost overruns and safety problems, Americans need a strong watchdog to protect their interests. Unfortunately, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has a poor track record of ensuring nuclear safety and federal law proscribes states from adopting their own regulations to protect the public. Challenging Nuclear Power in the States describes a series of policy and regulatory tools that citizens and advocates can use to challenge the expansion of nuclear power in the United States.

(April 2006)
On the Road to Energy Independence: Controlling New Jersey's Runaway Energy Demand Through Energy Efficiency

Consumption of electricity and natural gas is projected to rise significantly in New Jersey in coming years, costing consumers money and resulting in increased pollution. On the Road to Energy Independence explains how energy efficiency measures such as improved building codes, additional appliance efficiency standards and expanded energy efficiency programs could reduce energy consumption in New Jersey at a net financial gain to consumers.

(January 2006)
Consolidation of Power: How Exelon's Bid to Acquire PSEG Could Raise Rates, Reduce Reliability, and Risk Public Safety

In December 2004, Chicago-based Exelon Corporation announced plans to acquire Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), the last remaining New Jersey-based energy company that hasn’t been taken over by a large out-of-state corporation. Consolidation of Power analyzes the risks this deal poses to consumers in New Jersey’s deregulated electricity market—who depend upon vigorous competition between energy suppliers to get a fair deal for reliable service.

(November 2005)
Ready to Roll: The Benefits of Today's Advanced Technology Vehicles for Oregon

Despite tighter automobile emission standards over the past three decades, many states continue to face significant automobile-related air pollution problems. Ready to Roll: The Benefits of Today’s Advanced-Technology Vehicles for Oregon outlines how the use of advanced-technology vehicles—those that use cleaner, alternative fuels or new technological advances to achieve dramatically improved environmental performance—could alleviate air pollution problems while reducing global warming emissions and enhancing the state’s energy security. The report also documents that, although advanced technology vehicles are “ready to roll,” availability of these vehicles is limited in states that have not yet adopted the California Clean Car Standards.

(November 2005)