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12 Apr

The Natural Resources Agency was urged to alter its climate adaptation work to focus less on fighting climate-driven disasters, such as wildfires, and more on helping prevent climate change impacts, during an April 11 Senate Environmental Quality Committee hearing. “We know we have dead trees and poor soil management in forests,” said Committee Chair Bob […]

JUICE: Not Seeing the Forest for the EVs

10 Apr

Gov. Jerry Brown is myopically focused on advancing electric and other zero emission cars. He proposes a big funding increase for electric automobile infrastructure at the expense of other valuable clean energy programs in his 2018-19 state budget plan now under debate. The proposed spending increase for electric cars comes out of the hide of […]

PG&E Proposes Small Rate Cut, But Bigger Costs Elsewhere

2 Apr

Pacific Gas & Electric March 30 asked the California Public Utilities Commission to shave millions of dollars from its revenues this year under three separate rate cases, including two that were previously approved, to account for the financial benefit it’s reaping from the 2017 federal tax act. Overall, the utility expects a tax benefit under […]


16 Jan

The world’s energy supply increasingly is being dominated by solar and wind technologies, the International Energy Agency told U.S. lawmakers. Fatih Birol, IEA executive director, told the U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee Jan. 16 that by 2040 renewable technologies will produce 40 percent of the world’s electricity. Solar will dominate the march of […]


10 Jan

The California Public Utilities Commission Jan. 11 approved spending $555 million for the Electric Program Investment Charge program from 2018-2020. This ongoing program run by the California Energy Commission continues funding of alternative and emerging energy resource research and development, technology pilots and market facilitation.  The EPIC funds, collected from investor-owned utility ratepayers, are to […]

CPUC Rolls Out CA Power System Resource Plan

2 Nov

The California Public Utilities Commission laid out its goals for the upcoming integrated resource planning process to guide future procurement of power resources towards a lower carbon future. Under the integrated resource planning process, said CPUC staff member Forest Kaser, the reference plan aims to identify the least-cost approach to meeting the state’s 2030 greenhouse […]

OPINIONATED: Binary Geothermal Gives PV a Run for Its Money

17 Oct

By Paul Thomsen In 2017, for the first time, the combined energy and capacity values of geothermal energy significantly exceeded the value of solar photovoltaic resources in California. In the first quarter of 2017, geothermal’s wholesale energy value in Southern California was $13.50/MWh greater than solar PV. At the same time, utility estimates of marginal […]

Calls for Perry to Apply ‘Fuel Secure’ Payment Proposal to Renewables

4 Oct

Power markets are replete with services for sale—from day-ahead power to ancillary services and capacity. Now, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry wants to add to the list. In a Sept. 28 letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Perry urged commissioners to quickly adopt a Department of Energy regulatory proposal that would require organized […]

The Buzz

28 Jul

The California Independent System Operator seeks to widen the route to the state’s wholesale electricity market for demand response. Microgrids promise benefits, but first the California Energy Commission says numerous speed bumps must be removed to make them more commonplace. The grid operator seeks to head off the potential for sudden loss of large amounts […]

CA Wind & Solar Power #5 Among States

14 Jun

For the first time, monthly electricity generation from wind and solar (including utility-scale plants and small-scale systems) exceeded 10 percent of total U.S. electricity generation, according to a June 14 analysis by the Energy Information Agency. Generation by those renewable resources exceeded the 10 percent mark in March after averaging 7 percent of total generation […]

Opinionated: The Energy Efficiency Conundrum

9 May

By Todd Edmister In its well-intentioned efforts to address climate change in SB 350, the California Legislature mandated that state investor-owned utilities “double” energy savings cost-effectively by 2030. The fly in the ointment here is that SB 350’s new “doubling” requirement rests atop long-established legislation already requiring private utilities to obtain “all available energy efficiency […]


29 Nov

Dec. 6: LADWP regular board meeting. Agenda is expected to be available 72 hours prior to meeting. More information. Time: 10 a.m. Place: LADWP, Room 1555-H, 111 North Hope St., Los Angeles.   Dec. 6: California Public Utilities Commission workshop on proposed Southern California Edison rate increase. More information. Time: 9 a.m. Place: CPUC Auditorium, […]


10 Nov

California Public Utilities Commission staff raised concern about the national election’s impacts on the agency. “We are a creature of state policy,” CPUC President Mike Picker pointed out during the Nov. 10 business meeting. “There probably will be adjustments as the market shifts and it’s clear as to what we have to do to reduce […]

CARB’s Cap & Trade Amendments Call for 40 Percent Emissions Cut

23 Sep

State air regulators began considering sweeping amendments to California’s carbon cap-and-trade rules Sept. 22 to extend the program beyond 2020 and to make it the primary vehicle for meeting the federal Clean Power Plan requirements. The federal plan seeks to cut greenhouse gas emissions from the economy’s electric sector 30 percent by 2030. (more…)

The Buzz

1 Sep

Just before the start of Labor Day weekend, lawmakers labored to get several significant climate protection and energy bills to the Governor’s desk. Among them are three bills to direct spending of unspent cap-and-trade revenue and to designate much of the money for pollution reduction from transportation, including from large and small vehicles, and in […]

The Buzz

29 Jul

Note: California Current is taking a summer break. Our next issue will come out on Aug. 19. Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is joining with other California public power agencies in an effort to slow any move to regionalize the western power grid. The strategy includes lobbying the Legislature after a LADWP official […]

This Week’s Buzz

15 Jul

  Regionalizing California’s grid to lower the cost and improve the integration of rising levels of solar and wind power gets a bit of a black eye. In spite of the California grid operator’s intentions to increase grid efficiency and transparency and lower costs by eliminating the current “balkanization,” its first western grid partner, PacifiCorp, […]

Is the Wind Down of Diablo Canyon a Sign of Things to Come?

24 Jun

High costs and growing opposition led Pacific Gas & Electric June 21 to formally end its efforts to extend the life of its 2,200 MW Diablo Nuclear Power Plant along California’s Central Coast and commit to replacing its power with clean energy resource (more…)


28 May

May 30: Memorial Day – national holiday. June 1-2: The seventh annual Clean Energy Ministerial, hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy. Energy ministers from around the world will work with business leaders to advance clean energy. It’s the first “Mission Innovation Ministerial,” which is to focus on an initiative to spend billions on clean […]

DOE Pursues Community Backing for Nuclear Waste Dump

28 Apr

After facing insurmountable opposition to constructing a long-term nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, NV, the Department of Energy is attempting a new strategy for getting one built to handle growing levels of radioactive waste at San Onofre and elsewhere. “Nuclear waste management is at an impasse,” acknowledged John Kotek, acting assistant secretary for nuclear […]