The Buzz

17 Aug 2018

Few are holding their breath on votes on the big pending energy bills. The fate of legislation creating grid regionalization and a 100 percent green energy bill, as well as addressing wildfire liability, is anyone’s guess.

Adequate and continuous funding for wildfire mitigation and management in California is the elephant in the room that legislators don’t want to touch. As a legislative conference committee continues hearings to try and figure out how to cope with wildfires, funding proposals have yet to gather steam.

Power shut offs spike to Great Recession levels for utility bill non-payments, motivating state energy regulators to see if they can get the numbers down.

Utilities were not on the hot seat during a fourth legislative committee hearing on wildfires. Instead, lawmakers heard from fire experts about the need for wildfire mitigation measures, including controlled burns, and fire-proofing existing homes.

California grid data show that there was a 600 percent increase in renewable energy curtailments in May of this year.

After being largely in the doldrums the last few quarters, most of the merchant generators’ earnings are looking up.

The void left by Robert Powelson’s departure from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission could be filled by the Department of Energy’s Office of Policy head.

–The Editors

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