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.

Solar on Superstores: How Commercial Rooftops Can Boost Clean Energy Production in North Carolina

Although North Carolina has been a national solar leader, one of the state's biggest, largely untapped potential markets for solar power is large commercial buildings, such as "big box" retail stores, supercenters and shopping malls. Tapping into this solar resource to boost North Carolina’s solar capacity can have substantial benefits for the state’s environment, public health and economy. Solar on Superstores quantifies the solar power potential of North Carolina's commercial buildings and argues for strong solar policies that can help the state take advantage of this clean energy resource.

(February 2014)
Wind Energy for a Cleaner America II: Wind Energy's Growing Benefits for Our Environment and Health

America’s wind power capacity has quadrupled in the last five years. In 2012, more wind energy was added to the U.S. electric grid than any other form of electricity generation. Thanks to wind energy, America uses less water for power plants and produces less climate-altering carbon pollution. Wind Energy for a Cleaner America II documents the growing environmental benefits of wind energy and urges the continuation and expansion of key public policies that support the development of wind power.

(November 2013)
Ohio's Clean Energy Success Story, Year 4: The Clean Energy Law Is Getting Results in the Buckeye State

Ohioans are realizing the benefits of Clean Energy Law - renewable energy projects and energy efficiency measures are saving energy, cutting costs for residents and businesses, and protecting Ohioans public health and the environment.  Over the past four years, creative utility programs have spurred 5 million killowatt-hours of energy savings and driven hundreds of renewable energy projects acros the state - demonstrating that the Clean Energy Law is working and making Ohio a leader in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Ohio's Clean Energy Success Story, Year 4 documents the transformative impact of the Clean Energy Law in its fourth year, highlighting the most creative and effective utility programs that are moving the state towards a clean energy future.

(November 2013)
Stepping up to Bigger Savings: How Maryland's Utilities Can Save More Energy by Adopting the Nation's Most Ambitious Energy Efficiency Programs

Recognizing that energy efficiency can save money, improve the reliability of the electricity system, and reduce pollution, Maryland enacted the EmPOWER Maryland Act in 2007, directing utilities to cut per-capita energy use 15 percent below 2007 levels by 2015. Unfortunately, due to poor implementation by the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the utilities, EmPOWER Maryland energy efficiency programs are not delivering adequate electricity savings to meet the 2015 goals. Stepping up to Bigger Savings discusses how Maryland utilities can move the state toward an energy-efficient economy by adopting energy efficiency programs that are succeeding in other states.

(November 2013)
Fracking by the Numbers: Key Impacts of Dirty Drilling at the State and National Level

Over the past decade, the oil and gas industry has fused two technologies—hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling—in a highly polluting effort to unlock oil and gas in underground rock formations. Fracking is already underway in 17 states, with more than 80,000 wells drilled or permitted since 2005. Fracking by the Numbers quantifies some of the key impacts of fracking to date—including the production of toxic wastewater, water use, chemicals use, air pollution, land damage and global warming emissions.

(October 2013)
Will Solar Power Have a Home in California?: Ending Net Energy Metering Would Put the Residential Solar Market at Risk

California is building a clean energy future based on the efficient use of renewable resources that will never run out, like the sun. California’s progress on solar energy is due to forward-looking policies, such as net energy metering, which enables homeowners who "go solar" to be compensated fairly for the benefits they deliver to other ratepayers and the environment. Will Solar Power Have a Home in California? reviews the critical role that net metering plays in the residential solar market and evaluates the potential consequences a suspension of net metering would have on California's efforts to build a clean energy future.

(September 2013)
The Spreading Shadow of the Shale Gas Boom: Fracking's Growing Proximity to Day Cares, Schools and Hospitals

Using “fracking,” gas companies are drilling near our communities, polluting our air and water and risking the health of our children and other vulnerable populations. Gas companies have already drilled and fractured more than 10,000 wells in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations, which extend beneath much of Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, West Virginia and western Maryland, and states are issuing permits for thousands more. The Spreading Shadow of the Shale Gas Boom documents that, in this five-state region, permitted well sites exist within one mile of more than 400 day care facilities, schools and hospitals.

(September 2013)
Lighting the Way: What We Can Learn from America's Top 12 Solar States

Solar energy is on the rise. America has more than 10 times as much solar photovoltaic capacity as in 2007. The price of solar energy is falling rapidly, and each year tens of thousands of additional Americans begin to reap the benefits of clean energy from the sun. America’s solar energy revolution has been led by 12 states – the “Dazzling Dozen” – that have used public policies to open the door for solar energy and are reaping the rewards as a result. Lighting the Way documents America's tremendous recent growth in solar power and argues that the pathway to solar energy growth followed by America's top solar states is open to any state that wishes to follow.

(July 2013)
Who Pays the Costs of Fracking?: Weak Bonding Rules for Oil and Gas Drilling Leave the Public at Risk

“Fracking” operations pose a staggering array of threats to our environment and health – many of them with significant “dollars and cents” costs. Current federal and state laws are supposed to hold drillers accountable for cleaning up well sites and compensating those who might be harmed by drilling activity, but are wholly inadequate to protect the public. Who Pays the Costs of Fracking? documents the current state of financial assurance rules for oil and gas drilling and lays out a policy roadmap for ensuring that the oil and gas industry bears the full cost of the damage it inflicts on the environment and public health.

(July 2013)
A Million Solar Roofs for Colorado: A Big, Bold Plan to Protect Our Environment and Grow Our Economy

As one of the sunniest states in the country, Colorado has great potential for solar energy. By 2030, Colorado could install solar energy capacity equivalent to that of a million solar rooftops – reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, addressing global warming and boosting our economy.

(June 2013)
Solar Works for Washington: How Expanding Solar Power Will Protect Our Environment and Benefit Our Economy

Washington’s strong clean energy policies have made it a national leader in wind energy and in energy efficiency. However, the state’s potential for solar power remains virtually untapped. Washington can start taking advantage of its full potential for solar energy by developing its capacity for rooftop solar power. 

(April 2013)
Ohio's Clean Energy Success Story: The Clean Energy Law Three Years In

Ohio’s Clean Energy Law is delivering on its promise of improved energy efficiency and increased production of clean, renewable electricity—reducing Ohio’s dependence on coal and natural gas power plants, which harm public health and the state’s environment. Ohio's Clean Energy Success Story tells of the progress the state's four major utilities have made toward meeting the requirements of the law and the benefits that have accrued for Ohio residents.

(March 2013)
Reaching for the Sun: How San Antonio and Austin Are Showing that Solar Is a Powerful Energy Option for Texas

Texas has the nation’s greatest potential for solar energy, yet with the exception of Austin and San Antonio, it has not invested much in solar energy generation. The electric utilities in San Antonio and Austin have installed four times more solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity than the rest of Texas combined. Reaching for the Sun shows how solar policies adopted by these cities and their municipal utilities provide a strong example for how the rest of Texas can reach its solar energy potential.

(February 2013)
Wind Power for a Cleaner America: Reducing Global Warming Pollution, Cutting Air Pollution, and Saving Water

Coal- and natural gas-fired power plants pollute our air, are major contributors to global warming, and consume vast amounts of water—harming our rivers and lakes and leaving less water for other uses. Wind energy has none of these problems. It produces no air pollution, makes no contribution to global warming, and uses no water. Wind Power for a Cleaner America documents the environmental benefits that have accrued from America's doubling its use of wind power since the beginning of 2008.

(November 2012)
Alternatives to Oil in the Northeast: How Innovators Are Producing Clean, Local Fuels

Dependence on oil harms the Northeast’s environment and economy. Alternatives to Oil in the Northeast highlights the work of innovators and entrepreneurs who are working to develop the fuels of the future: clean alternatives to oil that are less polluting and can be produced right here in the region. Those efforts can only take root and grow if Northeastern states make a firm policy commitment to integrating clean alternative fuels into our transportation fuel mix.

(November 2012)