Archive | global warming RSS feed for this section

Plan to Curb Utility Wildfire Liability Faces Pushback

10 Aug

Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to legislatively amend the decades–long court created legal doctrine that holds utilities strictly liable for wildfire damage faced strong head winds at an Aug. 9 legislative conference committee hearing. At issue is who’s responsible for the massive liability tab from the destruction arising from utility-sparked wildfires: ratepayers, local governments, insurance companies […]

The Buzz

21 Jun

Pacific Gas & Electric notifies investors and lenders that it is taking a $2.5 billion loss in the second quarter as a result of mounting wildfire liability, with the worst potentially yet ahead. Meanwhile, a legislative committee in Sacramento advances a bill that may ease utility liability for wildfires. The California Public Utilities Commission sets […]

CEC Aims for Carbon Emissions Free Buildings

14 Jun

Moving to zero carbon emission buildings in California depends on a few key strategies, a panel of experts told the California Energy Commission June 14. “Decarbonization is really the essence of our energy policy,” said Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister. Yet when it comes to decarbonizing buildings, he said the jury is still out in devising […]

The Buzz

17 May

Utility regulators get big push back on a proposal authorizing the investor-owned electric utilities to spend almost $600 million of ratepayer money on electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Southern California Edison complains it has zippo financial appeal. Federal energy regulators order Pacific Gas & Electric to settle complaints over $500 million in alleged overcharges in last […]

Utilities Seek Max Return on EV Charging Program

17 May

Utility regulators came under heavy pressure this week to throw out a proposed decision authorizing California’s investor-owned electric utilities to spend some $600 million of ratepayer money on electric vehicle charging infrastructure. During an all-parties meeting May 17, following the California Public Utilities Commission’s vote postponement on the proposal earlier this month, utilities complained it […]

The Buzz

9 Mar

A sizable midweek natural gas leak in San Diego shuts down a freeway, a huge mall and requires evacuations. As bad is the accompanying lack of a quick and easy shut off. Hours before, information leaked out that natural gas withdrawals from Aliso Canyon by SoCal Gas were quietly okayed over the weekend, riling a […]

Shorts

7 Mar

The California Public Utilities Commission held an all-day meeting March 7 to review how safety management systems are working at the state’s electric and gas utilities. Utility executives noted that safety requires ongoing training and continuous improvement based on data feedback loops in how utilities operate their facilities. The en banc meeting, said CPUC Executive […]

Climate Roundup: First Joint Carbon Auction with Ontario Marked by Brisk Sales

28 Feb

California and Quebec’s first joint carbon emissions rights auction with Ontario resulted in the sale of more than 106 million allowances, which went for $14.61 apiece, according to a summary of the results released Feb. 28. In the Feb. 21 auction, 98,215,920 allowances for compliance in the current period were purchased—which amounted to all of […]

Cap-&-Trade’s Effectiveness Questioned

17 Jan

Amid concern that California’s carbon cap-and-trade is awash in emissions rights so that companies face no pressure to reduce greenhouse gases, state lawmakers called on the California Air Resources Board to analyze how the various measures in the state’s climate program have worked over the past 10 years. “Experts say the state will meet the […]

Undercurrents: DOE Wants Nation to be Energy Top Dog

9 Jan

Energy dominance is a key Department of Energy goal under President Trump, a leading department official told a House panel this week. Reliable delivery of energy to consumers is another major goal. “We are closing in on our nation’s long-elusive goal of full energy independence,” said Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette before the House […]

Bill Would Prohibit New Gas-Fired Cars in 2040

4 Jan

Legislation to phase out gasoline-powered vehicles was introduced Jan. 3. AB 1745, by Assemblymember Ting (D-San Francisco), requires that all new cars and small trucks registered in California after Jan. 1, 2040, be zero emissions vehicles. That includes in all modes of operation, including while air conditioning is operating. “It’s time that we clear the […]

Climate Roundup

8 Nov

Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed creating a new international carbon market. In a Nov. 7 address to European Union leaders in Brussels, Brown noted that California recently extended its carbon cap-and-trade program to 2030. “We could explore linking California and the European Union,” he added. He pointed out that the state’s emissions trading program is […]

SHORTS

23 Oct

Energy regulators should require Southern California Edison to meet local power needs through a feed-in tariff for renewables, demand response, and energy efficiency and storage, according to the Clean Coalition. It began pushing for a tariff instead of a request for offers for preferred resources after the California Energy Commission signaled it would reject a […]

The Buzz

20 Oct

Greening the grid is the talk of the town. At the CAISO’s annual confab held this week, most bets are that a westward grid expansion will happen. Why? Because proponents insist it will promote renewables, which will decarbonize both the grid and economy, near and far. Achieving that goal, however, requires paying new alternative resources […]

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 […]

Undercurrents: Bill Promoting Renewables During Peaks Before Gov.

7 Sep

State legislation to increase the amount of clean alternative resources used to meet peak demand passed both chambers this week. The Senate passed SB 338 on 27-13 vote Sept. 6 after the Assembly passed it 46-26 the day before. “California can demonstrate that a low-cost, low-carbon grid is possible 24/7,” said Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), […]

Action on PG&E Butte Fire Penalty & EV Subsidy Bills

22 Aug

Legislation to strengthen rural wildfire prevention programs with a penalty payment ordered by utility regulators for Pacific Gas & Electric’s role in triggering the Butte Fire in 2015 cleared the Senate Natural Resources Committee Aug. 22. The bill goes next to the Senate Energy, Utilities, & Communications Committee. Meanwhile, a separate measure to advance electric […]

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 […]

Climate Roundup: Brown & Bloomberg Team Up on Emissions Tracking

12 Jul

Gov. Jerry Brown and Michael Bloomberg launched America’s Pledge on climate change July 12, which aims to compile and quantify the actions of states, cities and businesses in the U.S. to drive down their greenhouse gas emissions. “Today we’re sending a clear message to the world that America’s states, cities and businesses are moving forward […]

Ventura Clean Power Alternatives Study Begins

22 Jun

The grid operator late last week agreed to study whether preferred resources—including renewable power and energy storage and efficiency—could be substituted for a proposed fossil fuel power plant in Oxnard to meet Ventura County’s power needs. Replacement power is necessary because two old power plants there are slated to shut down at the end of […]