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.

Renewables on the Rise 2019: A Decade of Progress Toward a Clean Energy Future

America is in the midst of a clean energy revolution. Currently, wind and solar energy provide nearly 10 percent of our nation’s electricity and in 2018 America produced almost five times as much renewable electricity from the sun and the wind as in 2009. Renewables on the Rise documents the dramatic rise of clean energy over the past decade and looks toward a future that is 100 percent renewable.

(August 2019)
Cutting through the Smoke: Why the Allegheny County Health Department Must Turn the Corner on Decades of Weak Clean Air Enforcement

Pittsburgh is no longer the “Smoky City” of days gone by, but pollution from industry continues to pose a threat to public health. Cutting Through the Smoke documents the health toll of industrial pollution in the area, the Allegheny County Health Department’s history of weak enforcement of clean air laws, and recent actions by the department that provide hope that air polluters in the county will finally be held accountable.

(August 2019)
Growing Greener: The Environmental Benefits of a Compact and Connected Boulder

Boulder, Colorado is an environmentally conscious city with a problem: The city's lack of housing has contributed to most of its workforce living in surrounding, sometimes sprawling communities. This forces thousands of people into long car commutes that exacerbate global warming and air pollution. By enabling compact development, Boulder can create neighborhoods where homes, jobs, and recreational opportunities co-exist. Doing so will enable residents to walk, bike and take transit to where they are going - helping Boulder bolster its environmental and climate leadership.

(August 2019)
The True Value of Solar: Measuring the Benefits of Rooftop Solar Power

To help develop smart public policy around solar energy, many public utilities commissions, utilities and other organizations have conducted or sponsored “value-of-solar” studies that attempt to quantify the monetary value of the benefits delivered, and costs imposed, by the addition of solar energy to the electric grid. Many value-of-solar studies, however – especially those conducted by electric utilities – have left out key benefits of solar energy. To make decisions that serve the public interest, policymakers should account for the full value of solar energy, including societal benefits to the environment and public health.

(July 2019)
Blueprint for Tomorrow: Strengthening American Infrastructure for Healthier and More Sustainable Communities

Infrastructure is at the heart of America's greatest challenges. From ensuring safe drinking water for all Americans to addressing global warming, which threatens to change life as we know it, the nation's infrastructure policy is an opportunity to undertake the challenge of building a better world. As the national debate around infrastructure continues, federal decision makers should prioritize public health, the preservation of a livable climate, and the quality of life in our communities by focusing on five key areas - energy, water, solid waste, transportation and preserving our natural infrastructure.

(May 2019)
Shining Cities 2019: The Top U.S. Cities for Solar Energy

Cities across America are rapidly adopting solar energy - read on to find out how highly your city ranks. Wherever you live, solar energy is helping to clean the air, lower costs for residents and tackle global warming. Solar energy is at a tipping point. The cost of solar energy is plummeting, poising solar energy for mass-adoption. But attacks by the fossil fuel industry and some utilties are threatening this promise. Cities, states and the federal government need to maintain and enact strong policies to allow solar energy to rise above the horizon.

(April 2019)
America’s Top Colleges for Renewable Energy: Who’s Leading the Transition to 100% Renewable Energy on Campus?

Colleges and universities are natural leaders in the transition to a 100 percent renewable energy system. Small liberal arts colleges, large public universities and community colleges alike, from every corner of the U.S., are using renewable energy technologies to reduce emissions, lower costs and provide valuable research opportunities for students. This report ranks the top colleges for renewable electricity use; renewable heating, cooling and other non-electric energy use; and electric campus-owned vehicles.

(April 2019)
Solar Homes: The Next Step for Clean Energy

Installing solar panels on all new homes is a common-sense step that would create a wave of clean, renewable energy, reduce dangerous greenhouse gas emissions, cut air pollution, save consumers money and help to create a more resilient electric grid. Installing solar panels on all new homes could add 3.5 times as much solar energy capacity as the entire country currently has installed by 2045 – and cut over 9 percent of current annual U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation.

(December 2018)
Renewable Energy 101: Tools for Moving Your Campus to 100% Clean Energy

As hotspots of innovation and technical expertise, America’s colleges and universities should lead the transition to a clean energy system. Already, campuses across the country are benefiting from transitioning their electricity, heating and transportation systems to renewable energy. This series of factsheets lays out 11 strategies and tools to help campuses shift toward 100% clean, renewable energy.

(October 2018)
Renewables on the Rise 2018: A Decade of Progress Toward a Clean Energy Future

Renewables on the Rise 2018 looks at a decade of growth of five key clean energy technologies: solar power, wind power, energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and energy storage. Progress over the last decade shows that clean energy technology can power American homes, businesses and industry – and that America is poised to accelerate its shift away from fossil fuels in the years ahead.

(July 2018)
Accidents Waiting to Happen: Coal Ash Ponds Put Our Waterways at Risk

When coal-fired power plants burn coal, they leave behind toxic ash waste. Often, this ash waste is stored in uncovered ponds that are susceptible to leaks and spills. An analysis of the nation's coal ash ponds finds that many lie on the banks of vulnerable waterways, and pose critical threats to the environment and public health.

(April 2018)
Shining Cities 2018: How Smart Local Policies Are Expanding Solar Power in America

Shining Cities 2018 ranks the largest U.S. cities by installed solar PV capacity and shows that effective public policies – more than the availability of sunlight – determine which cities have the most solar energy capacity installed. Even the top cities still have vast amounts of untapped solar energy potential, but fossil fuel interests and some utilities are working to slow solar energy’s rapid growth.

(April 2018)
Wind Power to Spare: The Enormous Energy Potential of Atlantic Offshore Wind

The Atlantic coast states are dependent on fossil fuels, which pollute our air, put our health at risk, and contribute to global warming. To achieve a truly clean energy system, Atlantic states – which account for more than a quarter of the nation’s energy use – will need to tap into a massive clean energy resource that is right in our back yard. The wind blowing over the Atlantic ocean is just such a resource. With enough wind energy resources to generate four times the amount of electricity the region currently consumes, offshore wind can help power the Atlantic coast with clean energy. 

(March 2018)
Cooler Together: The Benefits of Cooperative Action Against Global Warming in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Beyond

America and the world need to take urgent action to reduce the dangers posed by global warming. As the Trump administration steps back from global leadership, states are picking up the torch of climate action. Nine Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states have pioneered an effective, bipartisan model for cutting carbon pollution from power plants - one that can serve as a model for other states and regions to follow.

(February 2018)
Road to a Fossil Free Washington: How Electric Vehicles and Renewable Energy Can Repower Washington State

Today, Washington’s transportation system is powered almost entirely by fossil fuels, a dependence that pollutes the air and water, and contributes to global warming. Road to a Fossil Free Future finds that Washington has the wind and solar resources to meet all of its energy needs - while also powering an electrified, emission-free transportation system in which Washington's existing vehicle fleet is fully replaced with electric cars, trucks and buses. 

(February 2018)