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Opinionated: Back to the Resource Adequacy Drawing Board

17 Dec 2018


By Todd Edmister

Last month, the California Public Utilities Commission issued a proposed decision in its resource adequacy proceeding that would strip community choice aggregators and energy service providers collectively of their authority to procure local capacity resources. It would give this resource adequacy procurement authority exclusively to investor-owned utilities like Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas & Electric...

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The Buzz

13 Dec 2018


Dear Readers:

We will post news stories early next week before taking a holiday break through New Year’s Day beginning Dec. 19. Our 2019 news coverage and analysis will begin on Jan. 2. Wishing you happy and healthy holidays.

This week, the California’s Air Resources Board adopts amendments to the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program, which aim to control the cost of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decade...

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The Buzz

7 Dec 2018


Power demand through 2030 may be less than the California Energy Commission projected earlier this year because of slower economic growth.

The California Public Utilities Commission okays the three investor-owned utilities’ 2018-22 demand response programs, but also revises them.

A draft CPUC decision would continue to require investor-owned utilities to line up resource adequacy contracts, particularly those needed in areas with local congestion...

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JUICE: The Long Shadow of the Energy Crisis

27 Nov 2018


Massive utility liability from the recent devastating wildfires potentially sparked by electric lines puts the companies, politicians, regulators and ratepayers between a rock and a hard place.

California regulators and lawmakers are working to keep Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison from being financially overwhelmed by claims resulting from the tragic toll on lives and property...

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The Buzz

15 Nov 2018


California air regulators take initial steps on cap-and-trade program revisions to double greenhouse gas cuts in the decade ahead.

The same day, a report is released that pushes land management changes to slash greenhouse gases in California. That includes improved forestry and woodlands management, slower conversion of natural lands and greener agriculture.

At the nation's capitol, the refusal by Trump's Federal Energy Regulatory Commission nominee to promise to recuse himself from decisions involving coal and nuclear subsidies, if confirmed, roils the U...

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The Buzz

8 Nov 2018


Overriding opposition, the California Public Utilities Commission gives Pacific Gas & Electric the green light to sign deals for more than 500 MW of electricity storage capacity at Moss Landing along the central coast.

This week’s election brings more California Democrats who back clean energy into the House. Changes coming in the House leadership in January promise increasing oversight and investigation of the Trump Administration’s pro-fossil fuel policies...

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The Buzz

1 Nov 2018


California appears to have no problem meeting the state’s 33 percent renewable portfolio standard, finds the California Public Utilities Commission. But, regulators warn that community choice aggregators and direct access providers need to up their renewable procurement.

While the utilities have lined up more storage than needed in 2020, only a fourth of that energy storage is online.

Southern California Edison admits its electrical equipment likely was involved in igniting last year’s huge Thomas Fire...

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The Buzz

25 Oct 2018


The Air Board approves funding to advance electric vehicles under its $455 million 2018-19 investment plan and also to incorporate methane controls for oil and gas producers into the state’s master air pollution control plan

The California Public Utilities Commission seeks to increase the effectiveness of a $550 million Electric Program Investment Charge research and development fund for utilities and the California Energy Commission...

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The Buzz

18 Oct 2018


The California Independent System Operator's vision of the grid at its annual stakeholder symposium in Sacramento is far sighted, imagining a wholly remade energy system based on renewable power.

A skeletal Federal Energy Regulatory Commission okays partial cyber security rules, as the chair remains sidelined by cancer complications.

State utility regulators levy penalties on the two biggest electrical utilities in California for safety violations that caused injuries...

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The Buzz

11 Oct 2018


Utility regulators whack community choice programs with higher costs in a long-awaited and controversial decision on the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment. The PCIA requires choice program customers to pay exit fees to utilities for power contracts said to be entered on their behalf.

Regulators give the green light to seven new utility energy storage projects, plus allow gas utilities to recover the cost of controlling methane leaks from their ratepayers...

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CPUC Hits Community Choice with Higher Costs

11 Oct 2018


Facing significant opposition in a shifting energy world, the California Public Utilities Commission Oct. 11 unanimously approved a decision that will raise the bills of community energy and direct access customers by shifting more private utility portfolio costs onto them.

In voting this week, commissioners backed revisions to the controversial Power Charge Indifference Adjustment methodology developed by Commissioner Carla Peterman instead of a more modest cost shift proposed by a commission administrative law judge...

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The Buzz

4 Oct 2018


California’s big three investor-owned energy utilities are hit with credit downgrades. Their borrowing pains would be a lot higher but for enactment of SB 901.

In spite of all the pro-electric vehicle effort and rhetoric in the state, the California Energy Commission slashes its spending plan for its Alternative & Renewable Fuel & Vehicle Technology Program 40 percent.

The same day as the vote to cut the EV spending plan, a coalition of carmakers, the Air Board and others, launch a public awareness campaign to drive the purchase of electric vehicles...

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The Buzz

27 Sep 2018


In response to intense pressure, utility regulators kick the can down the road on the amount of exit fees community choice aggregators pay the utilities. The California Public Utilities does okay new consumer protections for residential solar customers.

Utilities are allowed to borrow to meet uninsured wildfire liabilities under a new state law Gov. Jerry Brown signs into law. Utilities loans are to be paid back with ratepayer money...

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Analysis: Who Will Capture Value Behind-the-Meter

25 Sep 2018


By Fereidoon P. Sioshansi, Ph.D.

The evidence that the place to focus on in the future is mostly behind-the-meter (BTM) is gaining momentum. In early September, Energy Post published an extensive interview with Jan Vrins, managing director at Navigant, a consultancy. He said the much talked about energy transition, “… has already happened. We have entered a new world in which growth will come from distributed energy resources …” including BTM products and services such as:

Energy efficiency;

Rooftop solar PVs;

EVs;

Home storage; and

Microgrids...

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The Buzz

20 Sep 2018


Gov. Jerry Brown pens legislation to restore money cut by utility regulators from a closure cost settlement agreement for the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in San Luis Obispo County. He approves another measure to lift the cap on direct access to power by businesses in California.

Brown also signs numerous other energy-related measures, including bills to slash emissions from buildings, transportation, and natural gas use...

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Green Bonds Surge

18 Sep 2018


The green bond market is growing exponentially. Predictions are that the world’s green bond market will reach $1 trillion by 2020, at least according to financial representatives at last week’s Global Climate Action Summit.

These public and private bonds are used to finance low-carbon infrastructure, including renewable energy projects, green buildings, energy and water efficiency and low-carbon transit...

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The Buzz

14 Sep 2018


Gov. Jerry Brown’s big climate change conference is marked by protests over continued use of fossil fuel. Meanwhile, the state chief celebrates California’s carbon cap-and-trade program as a key element of his legacy on climate change.

One-hundred percent is California’s new goal for carbon-free power in 2045 after Sen. Kevin De León’s SB 100 is signed into law.

Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress move to rejuvenate the nation’s senescent nuclear power industry, backing legislation to develop advanced nuclear power reactors...

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SF Climate Meeting Aims to Rekindle Paris Deal, Though Views Differ

14 Sep 2018


During the first day of the Sept. 13-14 International Global Climate Action Summit promoted by Gov. Jerry Brown there were clashes inside and outside the hall over continuing fossil fuel use, as well as advancing carbon markets.

“Keep fossil fuels in the soil. Honor our next generation,” Kanyon Sayers-Roods, Indian Canyon Muraun Band of Ohlone People, told the audience in the massive Moscone Center on Thursday...

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The Buzz

7 Sep 2018


Figuring out how to optimize energy flows between the grid and electric vehicles gains attention among state agencies.

Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh is not a friend of the environment and he has taken issue with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate greenhouse gases.

California’s grid chief warns the defeat of AB 813—which would have allowed the California Independent System Operator to expand its wings across western states—eventually will be viewed as a historical blunder...

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OPINIONATED: Oil vs. Electricity?

4 Sep 2018


By Fereidoon Sioshansi

Oil vs. electricity is an odd comparison. The two are separate and unrelated forms of energy–with the possible exception of a few places where oil is still burned to generate electricity, such as in Saudi Arabia.

While most people acknowledge the disproportionate dominance of oil relative to electricity in terms of supplying the bulk of current global energy demand, electricity accounts for less than 20 percent of final energy consumption globally, half that of oil...

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