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CEC Steps in After Trump Guts Lighting Standard

13 Nov

The California Energy Commission acted this week to prevent incandescent and other inefficient general light bulbs from being sold in the Golden State after the Trump Administration overturned national standards in order to allow the sale of the inefficient bulbs. California has the authority to set tighter lighting standards under the U.S. Code, Title 22. […]

Shorts

13 Nov

Updated Nov. 14. Marin Clean Energy’s latest climate action update shows that 22 of the 34 cities in its territory have opted for 100 percent renewable energy for their public facilities. The report also shows that Marin County now has more electric vehicle charging stations than gas stations. Local Bay Area energy agencies are soliciting […]

Undercurrents: Public Takeover of PG&E May Solve Little, Says CAISO Board Member

12 Nov

Updated Nov. 14. California Independent System Operator Board Member Severin Borenstein is warning that turning Pacific Gas & Electric into a cooperative or a publicly owned utility won’t necessarily be “the silver bullet that creates a more efficient, reliable, and safety-oriented electricity provider for Northern California.” Instead, he opined earlier this week, “it would at […]

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 […]

Democrats Object to FERC Appointee Hearing

5 Nov

In spite of no action by the White House on the unfilled Democratic seat at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Senate Natural Resources & Energy Committee Nov. 5 vetted Republican FERC nominee James Danly. Committee Chair Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said it was acceptable to hold the hearing because President Donald Trump had […]

Juice: Out of the Ash a Green New Deal Must Rise

29 Oct

California’s energy and environmental goals took the one two punch this month. Only a Green New Deal may be able to repair the damage. First, it was another round of widespread public safety power shutoffs and devastating wildfires in Northern and Southern California. Left in their wake is rotten food, lost business sales, lost paychecks […]

Price and Variable Rates Help Protect a Clean Grid

25 Sep

Power pricing is a key driver impacting energy demand that can go a long way towards ensuring the reliability of a low carbon grid. “Prices are a powerful signal,” according to a presentation by Debra Lew, a Western Interconnection Regional Advisory Body consultant, made at a Sept. 24 California Energy Commission workshop on Net Zero […]

The US is Behind Rare Mineral Curve Big Time

17 Sep

The surge in renewable energy and electric vehicles highlights the risks of importing limited essential minerals from opaque markets, many in unstable regions. The matter is further exacerbated by the United States’ failure to compete in this area. “Batteries don’t work without lithium, graphite, cobalt and nickel; solar panels require silver, gallium, indium, tellurium; and […]

Vanishing Renewable Premium

16 Sep

The green premium has disappeared in Texas and the same will happen in California and elsewhere By Fereidoon Sioshansi Environmentally conscious consumers traditionally had to pay a premium to get clean kilowatt/hours. They’ve been typically offered as a “premium” product by the suppliers: the higher the renewable content, the greener the electrons and higher the […]

LADWP Board Backs Large Solar/Storage Contract

10 Sep

After a second hearing, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power Board Sept. 10 approved a 375 MW power purchase contract from a solar project being built in Kern County. The project will include two large energy storage battery facilities. The board failed to muster the votes needed to approve the deal at its […]

Shorts

4 Sep

Updated Sept. 5. The Balancing Authority of Northern California and Western Area Power Administration Sierra Nevada Region signed agreements Sept. 5 to join the California Independent System Operator’s Western Energy Imbalance Market. The two expect to begin participating in the market in April of 2021. This market focuses on short-term transfers of power to optimize the […]

LADWP Solar/Storage Deal Faces Union Opposition

4 Sep

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power’s board next week is expected to take up for a second time a proposed contract negotiated by the muni’s staff for the output of a 375 MW solar plant firmed by a 1,200 MWh battery storage system. However, its biggest union favors rebuilding local gas-fired plants. LADWP […]

12th Solar Project Opens under MCE’s Feed-in Tariff

3 Sep

Marin Clean Energy notched up its support for solar power last week as it began receiving enough electricity for 1,000 homes from the 3 MW American Canyon Solar Project in Napa County. Completion of the facility on Aug. 27 marked the 12th small-scale renewable energy project completed in MCE’s service territory under the community choice […]

Digital Analysis Compares Power Costs

27 Aug

The Natural Resources Defense Council introduced a tool that compares the costs of different sources of electricity in different states across the U.S., ranging from solar power in California to coal-fired generation in Wyoming. “At a time when cities, states, universities, and utilities are considering aggressive climate goals, this knowledge is essential to establishing informed […]

CA Electricity Sector Emissions Fall Nearly 10%

13 Aug

Greenhouse gas emissions from California’s electricity sector in 2017 dropped 9 percent below 2016 levels, but overall emissions in the state fell only 1 percent. The decrease in electricity emissions was offset by rising emissions from the state’s transportation sector, which is the largest source of carbon gases in the Golden State. That is according […]

Microgrids Can Create Community Energy Resilience

8 Aug

Microgrids offer increasing promise in making communities resilient to climate change by providing electricity for critical facilities during power outages or when utilities turn off power lines to prevent wildfires, researchers and community leaders told the California Energy Commission Aug. 8. They spoke to CEC members during a workshop this week on making the state’s […]

Shorts

16 Jul

Updated July 18. The California Energy Commission’s clean transportation program to date has provided $830 million in funding, with most of the money targeted at advancing the use of electric vehicles, according to a summary presented at a commission meeting on the program’s accomplishments July 18. In the clean vehicle infrastructure area, CEC has provided […]

Bills to Green & Save on Energy Advance

2 Jul

The Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee July 2 approved bills to require load serving entities to pick up the tab for system costs caused by their supply shortages, increase the efficiency of cool roofs and require energy regulators to reveal energy providers’ rates and portfolios. AB 1584 by Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) would require […]

CA Solar Subsidies Shine Bright

2 Jul

California’s solar subsidy program far surpassed its target, helping advance 7,228 MW of new projects in the three private utility territories, according to a California Public Utilities Commission  report issued July 1. “[T]he state has exceeded by roughly 241 percent its goal of 3,000 MW of customer-installed solar power, and the average cost of an […]

Bills Address Solar Systems in Wildfire Areas

18 Jun

The state Senate Energy, Utilities, & Communications Committee advanced two bills dealing with electricity and wildfires on June 18. One measure, AB 178 by Sen. Brian Dahle (R-Bieber), would exempt fire victims rebuilding their homes from a state requirement to put solar panels on their roofs. Dahle said his bill, which was opposed by environmental […]