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Doubling Energy Savings Means Focus on Existing Buildings

8 Nov

Without a concerted effort to reduce energy use, particularly in existing buildings and homes, California is likely to fall short of a legislative directive to double energy efficiency by 2030. That’s the conclusion of a California Energy Commission report presented Nov. 8 on how to achieve the efficiency target outlined in SB 350, enacted in […]

Undercurrents

1 Nov

As cooler temperatures take hold in Southern California, SoCal Gas is warning of energy supply risks in the coming season due to limitations placed on its Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field that reopened earlier this year. SoCal Gas President Bret Lane outlined the concerns in an Oct. 30 letter to the California Energy Commission […]

DOE Eyes Roll Back of Appliance Standard

25 Oct

The U.S. Department of Energy is embarking on a bid to change the way it sets energy efficiency standards for some 60 types of appliances to allegedly reduce the regulatory burden on manufacturers. “Through our ongoing efforts,” stated Energy Secretary Rick Perry Oct. 23, “we will promote job creation and economic growth, unleash American energy […]

Undercurrents

25 Oct

The California Air Resources Board is in the midst of changing its low carbon fuel standard as it seeks to further ratchet down on greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decade. Natural gas vehicle advocates, however, are crying foul. Under the proposal, according to the Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition, air regulators would increase the carbon […]

Shorts

18 Oct

The grid operator’s Energy Imbalance Market produced benefits of $40.55 million for its five participating members during the third quarter this year. Benefits since the western imbalance market began in 2014 now total $254.98 million, according to the California Independent System Operator on Oct. 18. The grid operator also said that carbon emissions from the […]

The Buzz

13 Oct

Utility regulators approved $30 million for energy storage facility subsidies in disadvantaged communities, mostly for institutional systems. The California Public Utilities Commission’s former chief administrative law judge is preparing to sue the agency in court on claims of a retaliatory firing after blowing the whistle on alleged collusion by the commission staff with Pacific Gas […]

CEC Turns Down LADWP’s Renewable Credit Bid

11 Oct

The California Energy Commission Oct. 11 declined a Los Angeles Department of Water & Power appeal to have a contract with Powerex for small hydropower count toward compliance with the state’s renewable portfolio standard. The decision stemmed from an appeal LADWP filed in 2014 after the commission denied compliance credit for the power contract at […]

Shorts

11 Oct

Fires raging in wine country continued to cause extensive power and gas outages on Oct. 12, according to a Pacific Gas & Electric spokesperson. Some 39,000 customers were affected in Santa Rosa and another 4,500 in Napa County. Including other counties affected by wildfires, PG&E had a total of 49,000 customers without service in its […]

JUICE: A Gas Free Diet

11 Oct

California’s leadership finally seems to have developed an energy policy menu that will achieve its ambitious goal to slim greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent. Recent decisions and actions pouring out of the kitchens in Sacramento and San Francisco significantly cut back on the amount of natural gas entrees to achieve bona fide low-carbon cooking. […]

Real Time Gas Market Pitched

9 Oct

Creating a natural gas imbalance market in the state is to be explored at the California Energy Commission. Implementing a real time gas market would “transform” the current California market by allowing the price of gas to vary on a “sub-day basis,” Greg Lander, Skipping Stone president, told the commission Oct. 9. He said doing […]

Clean Power Cuts Natural Gas Need

9 Oct

Natural gas usage in California is projected to remain flat or decline slightly with increased energy efficiency and renewable power, according to a California Energy Commission projection shared at an Oct. 9 meeting. Slack demand in California coupled with high levels of gas production likely will result in less need for natural gas storage facilities […]

The Buzz

5 Oct

A top legislative staffer gives an insider’s look at the fallout from the governor’s ill-fated effort to push through a bill to create an integrated western grid in the waning days of the legislative session. Electric transportation advocates flock to a meeting this week on the California Air Resources Board’s plan to give away $1.5 […]

Puente Project May Land Back at CPUC

3 Oct

The California Energy Commission Oct. 3 resumed closed-door sessions in the construction licensing proceeding for NRG’s proposed 271 MW natural-gas fired Puente power project in Oxnard. The commission’s staff and California Independent System Operator, however, concluded that only the California Public Utilities Commission can resolve the issue of whether Southern California Edison should buy “preferred […]

Mainstreaming Microgrids

2 Oct

California’s energy agencies and the grid operator continue to flesh out parameters for commercializing microgrids in the state. The systems are considered an important part of ensuring a greener grid is reliable because they can help balance uneven flows of solar and wind power. The plan for promoting these systems, which can operate independently from […]

CEC Backs Innovative Energy Projects

14 Sep

A biomass project to reduce wildfire threats by turning dead and dying trees in Shasta County into electricity won a $5 million grant from the California Energy Commission Sept. 13. CEC awarded the ratepayer-funded Electric Program Investment Charge program money to the Fall River Resource Conservation District for a 2.8 MW biomass facility in the […]

Undercurrents: CA Sues Feds for Halting Penalty Increase for Fuel Efficiency Violations

12 Sep

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed suit against the Trump Administration Sept. 11 for delaying a rule increasing the fine on car manufacturers that fail to meet federal fuel efficiency standards. “More fuel-efficient cars on our roads means cleaner air, better overall health for our children, and savings at the pump for consumers,” Becerra said. “We will […]

The Buzz

31 Aug

A week that began with record heat and a near record demand for power ends even hotter with a forecast of a new all-time record peak demand for electricity in California. The grid operator calls for conservation. PG&E calls for flashlights. Decentralized solar energy coupled with storage and smart controls can lower the cost of […]

Lawmakers Zero In on Clean Energy Job Training

31 Aug

Amid frustration about the limited economic contribution of green technology to date, state legislators focused on how to leverage the transition to a clean energy economy into economic and workforce development opportunities during an Aug. 31 hearing. “Imperial County has hit a 24 percent unemployment rate, higher than any other county in the state,” said […]

Utilities Benefit from New Climate Prediction Tools

29 Aug

Climate change is affecting energy utilities in a wide variety of ways and the pace of change is expected to quicken in the years ahead. However, utilities are beginning to benefit from new predictive tools the state has developed to help them plan future facilities that are adapted to a warmer climate. “It’s incumbent on […]

Juice: While We Were Gone

21 Aug

No big breaking energy news occurred during our brief summer hiatus, but there were notable energy-related developments, including the release of cost estimates of using alternative clean energy resources in place of the Puente gas power project, a restart of the controversial Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste dump license proceeding, and a push by Southern […]