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Spending Plans Propel Electric Transportation

31 Jul

Big money is flowing into electric vehicles in California following two actions late last week. One took place in Sacramento and the other in Los Angeles. The California Air Resources Board July 27 approved the first part of a four-part spending plan on electric vehicles and vehicle charging stations by Volkswagen. The automaker’s subsidiary, Electrify […]

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 […]

$14 B Port Cleanup Plan Lacks Funding

25 Jul

A joint plan by the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to dramatically cut pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from their operations over the next two decades leans heavily on electrifying cargo handling equipment and trucks that haul shipping containers. But, it rests on an uncertain financial foundation. The plan, rolled out earlier this […]

Clean Tech: Using Gas Pipelines for Hydrogen Delivery Is Up Hill Struggle

18 Jul

While policymakers envision piggybacking on the natural gas utility pipeline distribution system to distribute hydrogen to fuel vehicles and burn in homes and businesses, a new study casts doubt about the economics and practicality of doing so, at least for the next 20 years. The University of California at Davis study, presented to the California […]

Cap-&-Trade Impacts Poor Neighborhoods

6 Jul

How to ensure both greenhouse gases and toxic air pollutants are reduced in struggling polluted communities was the focus of a Joint Legislative Climate Change Policies Committee hearing held July 5. The panel members seek “to understand what is happening, and what work needs to be done,” said chair Assemblymember Edward Garcia (D-Coachella). While overall […]

Undercurrents: PG&E Sued for Refinery Blackout

3 Jul

Valero Refinery is suing Pacific Gas & Electric for $75 million in damages for a May 5 power outage at its Benicia refinery. The June 30 filing in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District Court of California charges PG&E with breach of contract and negligence for failing to provide uninterrupted power— primary and […]

JUICE: The Art of Emissions Warfare

28 Jun

Bay Area air regulators last week backed away from fighting the oil lobby head on. They did not vote to cap regional oil refineries’ greenhouse gas emissions as promised. The move surely was in response to pressure from the governor who doesn’t want a direct confrontation with the powerful oil industry while pushing legislation to […]

Renewable Gas Market Hampered by Cost

27 Jun

California has a significant potential to use methane produced by biological sources to stem global warming and reduce urban air pollution, researchers told three agencies this week at a joint meeting on reducing methane emissions. But there is a catch. Excluding externalities, biomethane is much more costly than other energy resources. Methane, a powerful greenhouse […]

Ways to Advance Renewable Gas

27 Jun

State energy and environmental agencies June 27 heard a potpourri of ideas for building a market to sop up biomethane, which is currently produced and emitted to the atmosphere from dairies, sewage treatment plants, landfills, and other sources in California. Biomethane can be used as a renewable fuel to power vehicles, make electricity and displace […]

Shorts

21 Jun

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia June 20 upheld the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval of PJM’s revised electricity rules for the capacity market. The rules, approved by FERC in June of 2015, add higher penalties for non-performance and an increased cost cap. “Procurements in solar, wind, and demand response fell […]

Undercurrents: So Cal Mayors Strive to Advance Port Clean Up

13 Jun

The mayors of Los Angeles and Long Beach announced their commitment to reducing air pollution from their major ports June 12. “Our ports are the engines that power our economy — they must also be the forces that drive our region toward a greener, more sustainable future,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. The Los […]

100% Renewable Power Bill Advances

1 Jun

Editor’s Note: This is an updated version of a story originally posted on May 31. The state Senate passed Sen. Kevin de León’s SB 100, which calls for 100 percent renewable power by 2045 and advances the deadline for moving to 50 percent renewable power from 2030 to 2026.  The measure passed on a 25-13 […]

Shorts

30 May

Gov. Jerry Brown announced formation of the U.S. Climate Alliance after President Trump announced that the U.S. was withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement. Brown also noted he will propose linking California’s carbon market with China’s during his upcoming trip to China. Joining the state climate accord are New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Washington […]

CEC Grants Big Clean Energy Bucks

10 May

The California Energy Commission approved more than $55 million in grants May 10 to promote less polluting ports, electric vehicles, alternative vehicle fuels and building energy efficiency. Two Southern California ports and the surrounding poor communities are to reap the benefits of a $25 million in grants for zero and low emission vehicles. The impact […]

Low Carbon Fuels May Halve Cap & Trade Allowance Costs

22 Feb

Strengthening California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard can go a long way toward reducing the cost of complying with the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program, concludes a report by ICF released last week by an alternative fuel business group. The February study by the consulting firm shows that doubling the low carbon fuel standard by 2030 would […]

CEC Approves Millions to Support Staff & Alternative Energy

15 Feb

The California Energy Commission Feb. 15 unanimously approved about $15 million in grants and contracts for a range of programs and services, from 15 fast electric vehicle charging stations to proposals for novel micro grid clean energy projects. The largest contract, $4 million, went to Aspen Environmental, a frequent recipient of large awards, for training […]

CEC Pulls Plug on Bioenergy Plant Funding

10 Dec

The California Energy Commission this week took the rare step of cancelling an active financial grant when it terminated a multi-million dollar award to a bioenergy company due to what the commission called “significant and unresolved financial irregularities.” (more…)

Natural Resources Panel Backs Biomass Funding

17 Apr

The Assembly Natural Resources Committee April 13 voted out six bills dealing with various energy-related issues, ranging from trying to stoke up biomass generation to getting state agencies to purchase low-carbon fuel for their vehicles. (more…)

Expanding Biopower Raises Air Quality Concerns

20 Mar

Efforts to expand use of biogas and biomass power could worsen levels of ozone and fine particle pollution in California, particularly in the San Joaquin Valley, one of the most polluted areas of the nation. (more…)

Latest IEPR Meets CEC’s Approval

27 Feb

Incentives will play an important role in achieving Gov. Jerry Brown’s oil use reduction goal of 50 percent by 2020, according to the latest in a series of energy policy reports approved by the California Energy Commission this week. (more…)