The latest opinion pieces by industry thought leaders

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  • A technician connects cable on a solar rooftop array.
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    Wichien Tep via Getty Images
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    Utilities must come clean about the full value of community solar

    Utilities often oppose customer-driven, third-party-owned energy projects like community solar because they threaten to supplant utility investments and utility shareholder profits.

    Jeff Cramer and John Farrell • April 3, 2024
  • White building with trees and large path in front
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    CharlieTong via Getty Images
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    Local government climate coalitions are delivering state policy results

    Environmental justice legislation in Colorado and energy efficiency and renewable energy programs in Wisconsin are two recent coalition accomplishments.

    Lindsay Ex and Erick Shambarger • March 26, 2024
  • Close up of EV charger with cars parked in background
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    Scharfsinn86 via Getty Images
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    5 tips for building highly utilized curbside EV chargers

    Think about EV charger placement and features that provide value to community residents, visitors and business owners, says the president and CEO of EV charging company Volta.

    Brandt Hastings • March 22, 2024
  • A rendering of an Electric Era charger charging a vehicle.
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    Permission granted by Electric Era
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    To spur more EV chargers, regulators must get creative with demand charges

    No matter what the incentives for installing an EV charger, very few businesses will enter this marketplace if selling the product leads to thousands of dollars in charges that aren’t made up for with revenue.

    Chris Kaiser • Jan. 8, 2024
  • An artistic rendering of a building which is transitioning from fossil fuel use to renewable sources like solar panels
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    Oliver de la Haye via Getty Images
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    The US could still get to net-zero

    The country could reduce nearly 90% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 without any Hail Mary innovations.

    Michael Jung and Adam Agalloco • Dec. 1, 2023
  • Exterior of the U.S. EPA headquarters with two flags flying
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    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
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    EPA should put landfill methane on COP28 agenda: former Oregon governor

    States like Oregon are curbing landfill methane emissions to help achieve climate goals. Kate Brown says the EPA should take greater action on this issue ahead of COP28.

    Kate Brown • Nov. 8, 2023
  • Electric vehicle, or EV, charging stations.
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    gerenme via Getty Images
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    Big power’s EV charging strategy: Raise rates, overpromise, underdeliver, repeat

    We grant publicly regulated utilities certain privileges in exchange for reliability and affordability. When they try to leverage that privilege to corner a new market, they deserve plenty of pushback.

    Jay Smith • Nov. 6, 2023
  • The California Capitol building.
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    Wallentine via Getty Images
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    ‘Yes in God’s Back Yard’ law aims to help battle California’s housing crisis

    The recently signed bill allows religious groups and nonprofit colleges to build affordable housing on their land without strict adherence to zoning standards. 

    Ellia Thompson • Oct. 31, 2023
  • An image of the Alabama State Capitol.
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    DenisTangneyJr/iStock via Getty Images
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    Why payments to government agencies should be easier

    “Increasingly, government agencies — and the people they serve — need a payments system that is connected across departments and jurisdictions,” writes one payments executive.

    Sloane Wright • Oct. 25, 2023
  • University of Virginia
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    Joel Carillet via Getty Images
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    Colleges can take steps to address the affordable housing crisis

    From contributing underutilized land to tapping government support, institutions can help alleviate the problem — and get a return on their investment. 

    Eric Maribojoc • Oct. 17, 2023
  • An aerial view of a wind farm in Iowa.
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    Alena Mozhjer via Getty Images
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    Community solar is hot. Why not community wind?

    Perhaps the biggest difference between yesterday’s community wind and today’s community solar markets is in their business models, which reflect their respective market and policy environments. 

    Mark Bolinger and Bentham Paulos • Sept. 27, 2023
  • Two blue Revel EVs next to charging stations.
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    Permission granted by Revel
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    New York City just mandated electric ride-sharing vehicles. Other mayors should take notice.

    Ride-sharing vehicles should be the first movers when it comes to cities’ vehicle electrification efforts, argues Revel’s CEO.

    Frank Reig • Sept. 6, 2023
  • A person stands in front of several press microphones with people holding signs in the background.
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    Permission granted by Eduardo Cornejo
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    On environmental justice, a new blueprint for action

    Chicago violated residents’ civil rights by funneling industrial facilities into communities of color, HUD determined, and the city must make things right.

    Gina Ramirez • Aug. 14, 2023
  • An artist's rendering of a city streetscape. A high-tech car approaches a crosswalk as pedestrians pass by.
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    gremlin via Getty Images
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    Together, EVs, AVs and multimodal transportation will create more vibrant cities

    Gas stations, subway stations, parking garages and roads are among the city features we can reimagine as new mobility technologies change how we get from point A to point B, writes a leading exec at Gensler.

    Andy Cohen • Aug. 5, 2022
  • A construction worker out in the heat cools off in water fountains.
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    Mark Wilson via Getty Images
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    Extreme heat is here. Here's how we create a heat-resilient nation.

    Heat is the top weather-related killer in the U.S. In the face of worsening climate change, helping communities manage heat will require cooperation among local, state and federal governments, one researcher writes.

    Ladd Keith • July 13, 2022
  • Business concept with hundred dollar bills on top of downtown buildings
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    skodonnell via Getty Images
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    The vast, untapped potential of city procurement

    The procurement process — often governed by complex regulations and overworked staff — typically occurs outside public view. That needs to change if it's to help the community meet its environmental and social goals.

    Sascha Haselmayer • June 27, 2022
  • Traffic light with traffic camera
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    Veni vidi...shoot via Getty Images
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    AI-enabled cameras and lidar can improve traffic today and support the AVs of tomorrow

    Upgrading traffic cameras with AI improves performance and prepares for advancements such as autonomous vehicles. Future systems will likely tap the benefits of both cameras and lidar, write the co-founders of AI platform Derq.

    Georges Aoude and Karl Jeanbart • June 17, 2022
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    Mark Kolbe via Getty Images
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    Don't forget about the creative community in the rebuild of US infrastructure

    Previous infrastructure projects used top-down solutions, often without local input, and often resulting in fracture neighborhoods. This time, let’s incorporate community voices — and local artists — to find transformational solutions. 

    Rip Rapson and Regina Smith • May 26, 2022
  • Front end of a blue tiny house with under skirting and storage unit in the back. Shaded windows in the front of tiny home. Fence.
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    Mechelle Brooks via Getty Images
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    Blame local zoning, not Wall Street, for this housing crisis

    Local zoning laws and NIMBYism are preventing the growth of affordable housing and greater housing density and contributing to labor shortages in urban areas. 

    Atticus LeBlanc • May 24, 2022
  • housing, suburb
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    jimfeng via Getty Images
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    Corporate housing is key to addressing tight housing market, relocating workers

    As workers increasingly migrate to suburbs and smaller cities, high housing costs and limited supplies might delay a home purchase. Regulations aimed at vacationers shouldn't limit extended-stay rental options.

    Angela Healy • May 11, 2022
  • City development.
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    ictor via Getty Images
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    To reduce transportation emissions, make it realistic for people to ditch cars

    Building walkable communities with easy access to public transit is key to reducing our reliance on cars and achieving environmental goals, writes the CEO of Keolis North America.

    David Scorey • May 2, 2022
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    Pgiam via Getty Images
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    Harassment and intimidation are driving local leaders away from public service, and we all stand to lose

    “I genuinely worry about how our nation’s cities, towns and villages will attract and retain the talent we need,” writes the head of the National League of Cities.

    Clarence E. Anthony • April 19, 2022
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    David McNew via Getty Images
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    For the Building Performance Standards Coalition to be effective, the White House must think bigger

    The former head of the U.S. Green Building Council weighs in on how federal, state and local government partners can go beyond just reducing building emissions as they pursue decarbonization.  

    Mahesh Ramanujam • April 8, 2022
  • Gainesville, Georgia's WeGo on-demand transportation service app.
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    Permission granted by Via Transportation
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    What big cities can learn from the rural US about public transit

    Grappling with bare-bones transportation networks, rural communities are implementing new transit innovations, a trend that federal infrastructure dollars could accelerate. 

    Scott James Matheson and Sam Couvillon • April 6, 2022
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    Drew Angerer/Getty Images via Getty Images
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    Envisioning a policy framework for the growth of AVs and SAVs

    Public policy will need to evolve with vehicle automation advances to ensure privately owned, shared and fleet AVs meet community needs. Examining the likely phases of this transition can help officials anticipate policy needs.

    Susan Shaheen • March 22, 2022