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.

Shining Cities 2016: How Smart Local Policies Are Expanding Solar Power in America

Shining Cities: How Local Policies Are Expanding Solar Power in America, the third edition of our series ranking cities by installed solar PV capacity, shows that the cities with thriving solar markets are those with smart policies that make solar energy both accessible and affordable to their residents.

(April 2016)
We Have the Power: 100% Renewable Energy for a Clean, Thriving America

America can address our largest environmental challenges by shifting to 100 percent renewable energy. We Have the Power harnesses the evidence for why a transition to 100 percent renewable energy is both necessary and achievable and highlights the technologies and tools that can get us there.

(March 2016)
Solar Schools for Philadelphia: Clean Air, Green Jobs, and Financial Savings

Solar energy is booming across the country, and with good reason. Solar panels generate emission-free energy, at a price increasingly competitive with electricity generated from dirty fossil fuels. Solar Schools for Philadelphia explains how the city's schools, taxpayers, and environment would benefit from an effort to put solar panels on every Philadelphia school.

(March 2016)
Solar on Superstores: How the Roofs of Big Box Stores Can Help America Shift to Clean Energy

America must take advantage of untapped opportunities to install solar technologies, like using rooftops of large superstores and “big box” retail stores as hosts for clean electricity generation. The roofs of these large stores are perfect locations for solar panels – they are largely flat and vacant and almost always fully exposed to the sun.

(February 2016)
Turning to the Wind: American Wind Power is Cutting Carbon Pollution Today and Paving the Way for a Clean Energy Future

Wind power has already significantly reduced climate-altering carbon pollution: In 2014 alone, wind-generated electricity averted an estimated 143 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, as much as would be produced by 37 typical coal-fired power plants. By renewing the Production Tax Credit, a key driver of wind energy development, America can displace even more carbon pollution – a critical step towards protecting future generations from the worst impacts of global warming.

(December 2015)
Dangerous and Close: Fracking Near Pennsylvania's Most Vulnerable Residents

Since 2007, more than 9,000 wells employing fracking have been drilled in Pennsylvania - many of them in close proximity to schools, day care facilities, hospitals and nursing homes. Dangerous and Close tracks the spread of fracking ever closer to Pennsylvania's most vulnerable residents and details the environmental and health threats fracking poses to Pennsylvanians.

(October 2015)
Blocking the Sun: 12 Utilities and Fossil Fuel Interests That Are Undermining American Solar Power

Blocking the Sun pulls back the veil on 12 of the utilities, fossil fuel companies, front groups and special interest think tanks that are fighting solar power in America. 

(October 2015)
Fracking on University of Texas Lands: The Environmental Effects of Hydraulic Fracturing on Land Owned by the University of Texas System

As the state’s flagship educational institution and a significant landholder, the University of Texas has a particular responsibility to protect the environment, Texas’ special places and public health. Fracking on university-owned lands, which fund UT and the Texas A&M System, put pressure on scarce water resources, introduced hundreds of millions of pounds of toxic substances to the environment, worsened global warming, and threatened migratory birds and endangered species. Fracking on University of Texas Lands: The Environmental Effects of Hydraulic Fracturing on Land Owned by the University of Texas System quantifies this damage this dangerous practice has wrought on university lands.

(September 2015)
Lighting the Way: The Top States that Helped Drive America’s Solar Energy Boom in 2014

America’s solar energy revolution continues to be led by a small group of states that have the greatest amount of solar energy capacity installed per capita. These 10 states have opened the door for solar energy and are reaping the rewards as a result.

(September 2015)
Cool Solutions: Ten Emerging Technologies and Trends that Can Help Massachusetts Meet Bold Goals for Curbing Global Warming

Achieving the goal of cutting emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050 will require Massachusetts to fully implement previous commitments to reduce global warming pollution. It will also require us to take full advantage of a new wave of game-changing opportunities – highlighted in Cool Solutions, from cutting-edge technologies to emerging societal trends – that can help Massachusetts build on its position of national leadership in the fight against global warming.

(August 2015)
California's Solar Success Story: How the Million Solar Roofs Initiative Transformed the State's Solar Energy Landscape

California's Million Solar Roofs Initiative has successfully transformed the state's solar energy landscape. A future in which solar energy is increasingly abundant and cost-competitive was the goal envisioned by policymakers a decade ago when California adopted the landmark Million Solar Roofs Initiative. It was designed to pave the way for a clean energy future – bringing solar energy within reach of more California residents and businesses. It worked: California’s solar photovoltaic capacity has increased more than 12-fold thanks to the Million Solar Roofs Initiative. The growth in solar energy in California is helping the state meet its goals for reducing emissions of global warming pollutants while reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and spurring a new and vibrant clean energy economy.

(July 2015)
Path to the Paris Climate Conference: American Progress in Cutting Carbon Pollution Could Pave the Way for Global Action

The United States is responsible for more climate-changing pollution in the atmosphere than any other country. As the fight to avoid the worst effects of global warming intensifies, American pollution-cutting efforts are setting an example for the world.

Deeper cuts are needed at home and abroad, but by fully implementing policies already enacted at the state and federal levels – including the Clean Power Plan, the first national policy to limit climate pollution from power plants – the U.S. can prevent as much as 1.1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution annually by 2025.

(June 2015)
Shining Rewards: The Value of Rooftop Solar Power for Consumers and Society

Net energy metering has been instrumental in the rapid growth of solar energy in the United States, making it more affordable for people to “go solar” and enabling solar panel owners to earn fair compensation for benefits they provide to other users of the electricity grid and to society at large. The 11 studies reviewed in Shining Rewards demonstrate that the value created by solar energy – in avoided energy losses, reduced need for capital investment in the grid and reduced greenhouse gas emissions – is often higher than the compensation solar panel owners earn through net metering. 

(June 2015)
Progress on Hold: The Freeze on Ohio’s Clean Energy Law Could Mean Big Costs and Dirtier Air

Ohio has a great deal to lose from the freeze and rollback of the Clean Energy Law – and stands to lose even more if the law is permanently frozen or repealed. In just the second year of the freeze, according to this report’s analysis, Ohioans will miss out on energy savings worth as much as $218 million, while the state will produce up to an additional 3.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution. If the freeze is left in place, the costs will rise, leading potentially to an extra 27.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2025.

(June 2015)
Shining Cities: Harnessing the Benefits of Solar Energy in America

America’s major cities have played key roles in the clean energy revolution and stand to reap significant benefits from solar energy adoption. Many cities are already benefitting from smart policies that encourage investment in solar energy. Shining Cities: Harnessing the Benefits of Solar Energy in America is the second report in our series ranking cities for their installed solar PV capacity - showing that cities from every region of the U.S. are driving solar development with strong public policies.

(March 2015)