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.

Ohio's Clean Energy Report Card: How Wind, Solar, and Energy Efficiency are Repowering the Buckeye State

Ohio currently generates 85 percent of its electric power from coal, one of the dirtiest energy sources in existence. That makes our state the nation’s second-leading emitter of global warming pollution, costs us $1.5 billion annually on coal imported from other states, and threatens public health and the environment by releasing hundreds of thousands of tons of toxic chemicals into our air each year. Renewable energy and energy efficiency offer better ways to power our state. By decreasing the need for electricity from fossil fuels, these technologies help clean up our air and protect our environment, while also creating new jobs and new investment.

(March 2011)
Falling Behind on Energy Efficiency: Maryland Risks Missing Its Electricity Savings Goals

In recent years, energy efficiency programs launched at part of the EmPOWER Maryland Act have delivered significant benefits to Maryland’s economy and environment, saving money on consumers’ power bills and reducing health-threatening air pollution. The state will be unable to maximize these benefits, however, because it is not on track to meet the electricity savings goals established by EmPOWER Maryland, due in part to the mismanagement of the program by the Public Service Commission (PSC). In order to achieve all the benefits of energy efficiency, the PSC must do more to ensure that utilities meet EmPOWER Maryland goals by taking advantage of all opportunities to save energy that deliver a net benefit to the state.

(March 2011)
Catching the Wind: Harnessing the Potential of Offshore Wind Power to Clean Our Air and Create Jobs in Maryland

Offshore wind energy provides a tremendous environmental and economic opportunity for Maryland. Catching the Wind describes how Maryland’s vast offshore wind resource can reduce dependence on coal-fired power plants and help the state meet its renewable energy requirements. It also describes offshore wind's potential to create thousands of jobs in dozens of fields – helping to sustain existing Maryland firms and encouraging the creation of brand-new industries.

(March 2011)
Smart, Clean and Ready to Go: How Solar Water Heating can Reduce Pollution and Dependence on Fossil Fuels

Solar water heating has the potential to reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuels and curb pollution that causes global warming and respiratory problems. By taking advantage of America’s full potential to produce hot water for homes and businesses from solar energy, the nation could reduce natural gas consumption by 2.5 percent and electricity use by nearly one percent, while avoiding 52 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution per year – equivalent to emissions from 13 coal-fired power plants or 9.9 million cars. The United States should take aggressive steps to encourage the installation of solar water heaters on homes and businesses and to promote other solar water heating technologies that can make an even bigger dent in our consumption of fossil fuels.

(March 2011)
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)