Resources

Search below for resources covering the intersection of climate engagement, social science and data analytics.

RESULTS

New Englanders Welcome the Clean Energy Transition

Kathryn Wright. Barr Foundation
Research & Articles
09-01-2023

Recent focus groups underscore widespread enthusiasm for clean energy and urgency for electrification in New England. In the summer of 2023, Barr Foundation sponsored six focus groups with homeowners in each New England state and a final group with renters to gain further insights. They were particularly interested in discussing electrification, which has become a central part of climate strategies in the region. In alignment with the climate poll, respondents had an overwhelmingly positive perception of clean energy, but they also had questions about implementation, the costs of the energy transition, and how their own lives might change in the future. Many respondents viewed the clean energy transition as inevitable; they encouraged incentives and policies at the state and federal level that further clean energy development. A factor which gave participants pause was grid reliability; participants were concerned about the ability of the electric system to handle the transition of the power supply and the addition of many heat pumps and electric vehicles. Residents’ hesitation to adopt clean technologies is tied to costs, and most are unaware of incentives that are already available to them (or will be soon). People like heat pumps (once they know what they are). Rooftop solar is considered a luxury. Participants like the idea of clean heat standards+.

Research & Articles
08-07-2023

Voters support stronger EPA rules on power plant pollution and want their local utility companies to prioritize clean energy over fossil fuels. Voters support the EPA’s proposed new power plant pollution rules by a 65%-24% margin after reading a brief description of them. 76% of voters disapprove of utility companies using money collected from consumers’ bills to fund political activities like lobbying. By a 59%-33% margin, voters say that their local utility company should prioritize clean energy like wind and solar over fossil fuel energy like coal, oil, and gas. 54% of voters say that their local utility company should support the EPA’s proposed new power plant pollution rules.

Tips & How-Tos
04-25-2023

The Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition (FCAC) is working to advance a Just Transition away from fossil fuel extraction and towards renewable energy and a regenerative economy in interior Alaska. For several years, FCAC’s Renewable Energy Working Group has been organizing around their local electric utility cooperative, Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA), to support more generation from renewable energy sources and energy justice initiatives and decarbonization of electricity. FCAC’s organizing efforts have supported more pro-renewable candidates to be democratically elected to the GVEA’s Board of Directors and pushed the utility to consider community solar projects and on-bill financing. A major win came in June 2022 when the GVEA Board adopted a strategic generation plan including a commitment to close down one of their coal plants and pursue a large scale wind power project.

In this webinar, FCAC shares learnings from their Microgrant Report: Cooperative Opportunity: Clean Energy documenting the development of their campaign, sharing reflections on how their organizing structure led to wins, the challenges they faced, and the lessons that can be learned to succeed in future campaigns.

Research & Articles
03-03-2023

Polling commissioned by oil and gas companies shows that New Yorkers support climate action and want to phase out residential gas. 74% of New Yorkers support the state “aggressively moving to reduce greenhouse gas emissions”. 65% of New Yorkers support the goal of having 1 to 2 million New York homes heated with electric heat pumps rather than natural gas or oil-fueled furnaces by 2030. 65% of New Yorkers support the goal of electrifying 85% of New York homes and commercial buildings with electric heat pumps by 2050.

Research & Articles
03-01-2023

Voters overwhelmingly want to make it easier to build new power lines in the United States, but are not as enthusiastic about new fossil fuel projects. 72% of Americans support reducing the amount of time it takes to approve new interstate power lines, including 74% of Democrats and 74% of Republicans. 75% support new power lines, versus just 55% who support new fossil fuel projects.

The North Star State has a new North Star: 100 percent clean electricity by 2040. Minnesota joined 10 other states, along with the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, in creating laws that require a transition to 100 percent carbon-free electricity—highlighting a trend of state-level action to act on climate, create local jobs, lower energy costs, and reduce deadly pollution. MN Representative Jamie Long, Majority Leader of the Minnesota House, and advocacy group Fresh Energy executive director Michael Noble played key roles in making 100 percent clean electricity the law of the land in the state. This resource includes an interview with them about the process leading to this new Minnesota policy. A big coalition of interest groups supportive of this policy was necessary for its passage. The bill passed full Democratic support and zero Republican support. The coalition included small business, families, family-supporting jobs and labor and trade unions, environmental justice groups, environmental groups, and traditional advocates for renewable energy.

A Case Study on the Founding of the Cleveland Solar Cooperative

Will Cuneo, Jonathan Welle, Cleveland Owns
Tips & How-Tos
10-31-2022

In June 2019, the nonprofit Cleveland Owns convened The Lakewood Community Solar Fellowship, a free leadership development program focused on bringing resident-owned community solar to Lakewood, Ohio. A group of 7 residents took part, meeting for a few hours every Sunday in the basement of the local public library. The goal? Form a solar cooperative to fight climate change and build toward climate justice.

When the Fellowship started, most of these residents were strangers, but together they would go on to form the Cleveland Solar Cooperative (CSC), Ohio’s first community-owned cooperative solar developer. How did this happen?

This case study details how Cleveland Owns helped convene the Cleveland Solar Cooperative (CSC), Ohio's first community-owned cooperative solar developer. It explores how Cleveland Owns developed the foundation for energy democracy efforts in their city; the key moments, challenges, and successes they and allies faced as they formed the cooperative; and an offering of tools and resources for other communities seeking to replicate their model.

Among these resources and insights are:

  • An account of Cleveland Owns' organizing principles and group norms
  • An honest reflection of challenges they faced, such as developing mutual trust and the technical expertise necessary to navigate the local energy market
  • The rationale behind the cooperative business model underlying the CSC
  • The CSC's process of developing bylaws, governance structures, and technical infrastructure for themselves
  • Their ethos of self-assessment that drives their evolution as a collective
  • A tool kit of organizing materials and resources on energy democracy and solar development

    Voters want to see the U.S. electric grid expanded, and widely support the SITE Act after learning about it. 74% of all voters believe it’s urgent to develop new energy infrastructure in the U.S. 74% support expediting the permitting process for power lines. 71% support the SITE Act after reading about it, which would expedite the permitting process. 55% of voter support giving the federal government more authority over interstate power lines.

    Memo: Battleground Poll on Gas Price Accountability

    Climate Power and Data for Progress
    Research & Articles
    10-25-2022

    Swing state voters overwhelmingly support policies to hold energy companies accountable for price spikes amid record oil and gas profits. 78% of battleground state voters support Congress passing new laws to “hold energy companies accountable” for spikes in gas and home heating and cooling prices that have led to record profits for those companies.

    Texas voters continue to say that the state government isn’t doing enough to protect Texas from climate change, but are confused about who to blame for the state’s energy problems. Texans who are experiencing higher home energy prices are about equally likely to say that President Biden (54%) and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (56%), or ERCOT, deserve a “great deal” of blame for their higher energy bills. When they are informed that the Texas electricity grid is independent and therefore not subject to regulation by the federal government, however, Texas voters are 26 points more likely to say that ERCOT deserves a “great deal” of blame (65%) than President Biden (39%).