China’s Solar Boom Is Big, Fast, and Unstable

China is installing a jaw-dropping amount of solar panels, but growth in electricity generation from solar is barely increasing. Meanwhile prices are remarkably volatile. What gives?

Summer heat and the electricity grid.

Summer of Renewables

It’s a clear sign that wind and solar power really matter.

The Colorado state flag.

Colorado Wins the Climate Jackpot

Thanks to a flurry of state legislation, Coloradans now stand to win big from the Inflation Reduction Act. They can even pick up one of the last new Chevy Bolts for $15,000 or less.


California’s New Solar Rules Aren’t a Disaster. They’re Going According to Plan.

Earnings calls by rooftop solar companies reveal that the battery business is booming.

A battery as a solar panel.
<p>Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images</p>

The solar industry has been sounding the alarm about California’s new rooftop solar billing rules basically since the day they were first proposed in late 2021. The market for residential solar panels in the state — the country’s largest — could contract by 40 percent in 2024, the industry warned, if rules governing the price of energy generated by those panels were changed. A coalition of environmental groups even sued the state earlier this month to stop the changes.

But now that the new billing rules are in effect, it’s becoming clear they may actually open up new opportunities for the solar industry, shifting its business away from trying to throw up as many panels on as many rooftops as possible to selling more complex and dynamic solar-and-storage systems that fluidly work with the state’s whole grid. While the industry at times has marketed residential solar as a way to escape the grid, the new rules recognize that every panel affects everyone else who uses electricity in California, and that for decarbonization to work, more than solar panels are needed.

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The Supreme Court Is Living Rent-Free in the EPA’s Head

A desire to please the Court may have rendered the EPA’s new power plant rule a little too ineffectual.

John Roberts.
<p>Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images</p>

If nothing else, give the Environmental Protection Agency credit for this: They seem to understand the assignment.

Last year, the Supreme Court struck down the Clean Power Plan, President Barack Obama’s ambitious attempt to restrict carbon pollution from power plants. That proposal never carried the force of law, and it had been held in suspended animation by the Court — and later the Trump administration — since 2016. But after President Joe Biden took office, Chief Justice John Roberts and the Court’s conservative majority revived it seemingly entirely for the sake of deeming it illegal.

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