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The Buzz

5 Dec

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 […]

House Democrats Push a Carbon Tax

5 Dec

In the midst of the United Nations Climate talks in Madrid, Spain, a House committee explored the appropriate price tag to place on a carbon tax as a means of curbing greenhouse gases. The optimal price was said to range between $25 to $100 per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent. Two of the four professors […]

JUICE: Microgrids Provide Power During Wildfires & Other Emergencies

5 Dec

The head of Pacific Gas & Electric, Bill Johnson, warned that public safety power outages may continue for a decade in areas facing high wildfire risk. It’s been estimated that the power shutoffs in Northern and Central California could cost the state economy about $2 billion. Those impacted are frustrated and so too are policymakers […]

Overlooked Energy Efficiency Gets its Due in Building Decarbonization

4 Dec

The often forgotten middle child of the clean energy family, energy efficiency, shared center stage with other carbon emissions cutting measures targeting California homes and commercial buildings. Energy efficiency has “a lot of ties with decarbonization,” said Commission Andrew McAllister during the CEC’s Dec. 4 workshop on cutting greenhouse gases from buildings 40 percent by […]

CAISO Report Seeks to Advance Energy Storage

3 Dec

Opportunities and barriers to energy storage deployment in order to green the grid in California and Europe are the focus of a California Independent System Operator report. “Accelerating the spread of energy storage will propel a renewables-based energy system–alongside increased flexibility options and a better use of (existing) infrastructure–and subsequently help reach ambitious Paris Agreement […]

PG&E Update: CPUC Division Finds Utility Equipment Inspections Shoddy

3 Dec

The California Public Utilities Commission’s Safety & Enforcement Division found that a faulty hook on a Pacific Gas & Electric transmission tower, which initially sparked the 2018 Camp Fire, was a known hazard. The fire burned down the City of Paradise. The safety division also found the worn tower that started the Camp Fire was […]

Pot Farms Burn the Midnight Oil, CEC Finds

2 Dec

Cannabis cultivation is and will continue to drive up electricity consumption in California. It is expected to add 1,600 GWh of new load over the next decade, according to the California Energy Commission. Demand from pot growth, largely energy-intensive indoor cultivation, is estimated to increase energy use in Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California […]

Shorts

2 Dec

Updated Dec. 5 The California Air Resources Board Dec. 5 adopted rules that seek to reduce carbon and toxic air emissions at California’s major ports. The regulations were driven by the serious health impacts on overburdened, low-income communities surrounding the areas. The new standards focus on emission reductions from berthed ships and other vessels. One […]

The Buzz

21 Nov

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approves the California ISO’s energy storage compliance filing. It also again rejects on a 2-1 vote climate analyses of liquefied natural gas export projects. A U.S. Senate panel calls for the full Senate to approve the Republican FERC nominee. The silence remains deafening on the fate of the Democrats pick, […]

FERC Backs CAISO Storage Filing, But Rejects GHG Analysis for LNG Projects

21 Nov

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this week approved the California grid operator’s energy storage compliance filing, as well as those of two others. The commission also approved four more liquefied natural gas projects and a draft order reworking how it determines returns on equity. FERC Chair Neil Chatterjee said the three energy storage rulings “ensure […]

Opposition Grows to Converting Utah Plant Serving So Cal to Gas

21 Nov

Clear air advocates Nov. 19 urged the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to put the brakes on a coal to natural gas conversion at the Intermountain Power Project in Utah. Their call occurred the same day that the California Energy Commission revealed that much of state’s gas power plant fleet will remain online […]

House Grapples w/ Cleaning Poor Polluted Communities

20 Nov

The House Energy & Commerce Committee Nov. 20 focused on how to protect communities struggling with climate and environmental injustices as the nation attempts to reach a 100 percent clean energy economy. “It is an unfortunate, but inescapable, fact that where you live in this country determines the extent of the environmental health risks you […]

Undercurrents

19 Nov

During a Nov. 19 workshop on reducing the energy use of the water and wastewater industries, providing conveyors and wastewater treatment operators real time energy use data was called critical. The water and wastewater industries use about 20 percent of the electricity in the state and about 30 percent of the natural gas use for […]

FERC Nominee & Clean Energy Bills Advance

19 Nov

The U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee sent its recommended approval of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission nominee James Danly to the full Senate. Danly, a Republican nominee, gained the panel’s backing Nov. 19 on a 12-8 vote. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) who supported Danly, objected again to the White House’s refusal to move on […]

Shorts

19 Nov

Updated Nov. 21. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Nov. 21 announced new and upcoming energy infrastructure cybersecurity protections. That includes the creation of both a new physical and cybersecurity group to focus on dam safety and a cybersecurity division within the Office of Electric Reliability. “These efforts will help FERC more efficiently focus its efforts […]

Senators Object to Utility Safety Outages

19 Nov

Shortly after Pacific Gas & Electric warned it may cut off power to about 800,000 people later this week in the face of a red flag wind advisory, lawmakers focused on ways to curb the number, duration and impact of utility power shutoffs. PG&E warned the morning of Nov. 18 that customers in some 22 […]

Axing CA Electricity Sector Emissions Said to be Decarbonization Key

18 Nov

To reach California’s decarbonization mandate within a quarter of a century, the electric sector must make the biggest greenhouse gas emission cuts, energy regulators and policy makers were told Nov. 18. This sector annually produces about 64 million metric tons of greenhouse gases today and that level must be reduced to between 6 MMT to […]

The Buzz

7 Nov

The liability boulder around Pacific Gas & Electric’s neck may thwart its rescue by the federal bankruptcy court, its latest earnings report warnd. Meanwhile, the push for a public takeover of PG&E intensifies. State energy regulators unanimously approve requiring utilities, community choice and other providers to line up an additional 3,300 MW of energy reserves. […]

PG&E’s in Critical Condition, Earnings Report Warns

7 Nov

Pacific Gas & Electric Nov. 7 reported a whopping and unprecedented loss of $1.62 billion. Its third quarter earnings report, released without the standard accompaniment of a call with financial analysts, also stated that the company’s financial situation is in dire straits and that it faces a very uncertain future. PG&E Corp. and the utility […]

CPUC Beefs up Capacity Mandate, Seeks Extended Life for Coastal Plants

7 Nov

After acknowledging the death and destruction wrought by the Camp Fire on the eve its first anniversary, state energy regulators unanimously approved requiring utilities, community energy and direct access providers to line up 3,300 MW of additional energy reserves. The California Public Utilities Commission also agreed during its Nov. 7 meeting to urge the State […]