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.

On the Rise: Solar Thermal Power and the Fight Against Global Warming

Preventing catastrophic global warming will require the United States to shift away from highly polluting sources of power and toward clean, renewable energy. On the Rise finds that concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies—which use the sun’s heat to generate electricity—can make a large contribution toward reducing global warming pollution in the United States, and do so quickly and at a reasonable cost. CSP can also reduce other environmental impacts of electric power production, while sparking economic development and creating jobs.

(March 2008)
Energy Saved, Dollars Earned: Real-World Examples of How Energy Efficiency Can Benefit Maryland Consumers

Electricity and natural gas prices have jumped, millions of dollars are leaving the state to pay for fuel imports, and Maryland will likely face rolling electric blackouts as early as 2011. Energy Saved, Dollars Earned demonstrates that the fastest, cheapest and cleanest way to address this crisis is to increase energy efficiency, so that we can get more heat, light, and work from the energy we already use. For guidance, Maryland can look to states across the country that have adopted strategies to increase energy efficiency. These programs deliver dollar savings for the citizens, businesses and institutions that participate. Moreover, they reduce costs, improve the reliability of the energy system, delay the need to build new power plants, slow rising energy prices, create jobs, and strengthen the economy for society as a whole.

(February 2008)
America's Clean Energy Stars: State Actions Leading America to a New Energy Future

America is in the midst of a clean energy boom, and state governments are taking the lead. States across the country have adopted creative policy tools such as renewable electricity standards, ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs, and aggressive building energy codes. America’s Clean Energy Stars highlights the states that have adopted cutting-edge clean energy policies and identifies “rising stars” that are moving toward a new energy future.

(November 2007)
Reaping the Rewards: How State Renewable Electricity Standards are Cutting Pollution, Saving Money, Creating Jobs and Fueling a Clean Energy Boom

More than half of the nation’s 50 states have adopted renewable electricity standards (RES) – policies that require utilities to obtain a minimum percentage of renewable energy for their customers. Reaping the Rewards shows that state that have adopted RES policies are leading the nation in the production of clean energy, while reducing pollution, curbing reliance on fossil fuels, and creating exciting new economic opportunities.

(September 2007)
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)