The Buzz

5 Dec 2019

A carbon tax is the talk of the town this week. Republican members of a House panel insist it would be a cost without a benefit because global action is critical. In response, their Democratic brethren chastise them for not partaking in the ongoing UN climate talks.

Solar-powered microgrids paired with battery storage can keep power flowing when electricity from the grid is shut off because of wildfire risks. This week’s JUICE highlights how these small systems also don’t reverse state and local decarbonization efforts like diesel-powered backup.

The California Energy Commission pulls conservation from the wings. It highlights how energy efficiency goes hand in hand with the state’s efforts to wring carbon emissions from homes and commercial buildings.

Marijuana farms, in particularly indoor growing houses, are significant energy drains. The new load is estimated to be around 1,600 GWh.

An even bigger deal on the clean energy/reliability front is energy storage. Transmission- and distribution-connected energy storage systems can transform the electricity sector, CAISO says.

PG&E has little holiday cheer after state energy regulatory staff conclude its faulty transmission tower, said to have sparked the 2018 Camp Fire, is a reflection of inadequate utility maintenance. The bankruptcy judge also won’t let it get out from under the state’s 125-year old strict liability doctrine. In a nearby court, the CPUC moves to protect its authority over PG&E power contracts, regardless of what the court rules on federal regulatory authority.

The Editors

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