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JUICE: Gridding Our Teeth

17 Jul

As the deadline for voting on legislation to allow California’s grid to become a regional entity gets closer, debate rages on as to whether it would be a boom or bust. A report released July 17, favoring removing barriers to establishing a Western Independent System Operator, warns of the inherent complexities of the legislation, AB […]

Undercurrents

17 Jul

The state’s investor-owned utilities will release their second quarter earnings statements later this month, and the results likely will be mixed. Pacific Gas & Electric announced that it expects to post a big loss. There is no indication, however, that the other two utility holding companies, Edison International and Sempra Energy, will do so. PG&E […]

Power Industry Emissions Tumble

12 Jul

California surpassed its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction goal in 2016, according to the California Air Resources Board data  released July 11. The Air Board’s 2016 emissions inventory shows that greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere in California that year totaled 429 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. That was 12 million tons less than […]

Shorts

10 Jul

Updated July 12. Greenhouse gas accounting in the grid operator’s energy imbalance market will be improved under changes approved by the EIM Governing Body July 12. The changes will allow a better job of accounting for “secondary dispatch” of resources to support out-of-state load when clean resources are sold into the California power market. Under […]

The Buzz

6 Jul

It was not just happy 4th of July, but also happy 3rd of July for many. There were mini fireworks after the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee sent the 100 percent clean energy bill to the Assembly Floor. SB 100 sets a 60 renewable mandate for 2030, with another 40 percent to come from big […]

Clashing Views on Power Industry Emissions

3 Jul

A legislative hearing on tracking carbon from electrons delivered to Californians quickly turned into a debate about grid regionalization and the impact of community choice aggregators and direct access providers in the state Capitol on July 2. Liane Randolph, California Public Utilities Commission member, said her agency has targeted a reduction of 42 million tons […]

Assembly Panel Backs Senate Energy Bills

26 Jun

A controversial measure to require California natural gas utilities to purchase biomethane gained ground June 25, narrowly passing out of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on a 6-1 vote. SB 1440 by Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) would require the state’s gas utilities to enter contracts for a minimum of ten years by 2020 for […]

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 […]

Climate Roundup: Carbon Auction Revenue Hits $3B

13 Jun

California raised record revenue through the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program in fiscal year 2017-18, according to a California Air Resources Board report. Total revenue from all four of the quarterly auctions this fiscal year equaled more than $2.9 billion. That’s up from $891 million in fiscal year 2016-17 and from $1.8 billion in fiscal year […]

CA Leaders Defer Cap & Trade Expenditure Decisions

12 Jun

As state lawmakers race to pass a budget for the upcoming fiscal year by June 15, they’ve decided to make any final decisions about how to spend the proceeds from carbon cap-and-trade program auctions later this session. Legislative budget conferees agreed that more time is needed to resolve substantial differences in both the amount of […]

The Buzz

8 Jun

The feisty Air Resources Board knocks hard on federal regulators’ door. The aim is to have a serious discussion with the Trump Administration about plans to knock out California’s tighter greenhouse gas controls for autos. Other potential bad news for the Golden State is the mega bucks it will cost if Trump et al succeed […]

Voters Reject 2/3 Voting Mandate for Cap-&-Trade

6 Jun

A ballot proposal aimed at constraining spending of the state’s carbon cap-and-trade auction revenue money went down in defeat June 5. It would have required a super-majority vote by the Legislature in 2024, in place of a majority vote, to spend cap-and-trade funds. Californians voted the measure down, with 63.6 percent opposing Proposition 70 and […]

The Buzz

31 May

More than $1 billion in electric truck and car charging funding gets the green light. The California Public Utilities Commission approves the investor-owned power utilities spending $738 million of ratepayer money on EV charging infrastructure, particularly for electric truck and bus chargers. That authorization follows California air quality regulators directing $423 million to subsidize the […]

The Buzz

24 May

The California Independent System Operator weighs increasing payments, primarily to battery-based storage. Multiple revenue streams are being considered for energy storage that provides transmission and other services in its markets. Critics warn that lack of an honest dialogue with the Air Resources Board over excess carbon allowances will cause the state to miss its target […]

CARB Takes Heat on Excess Carbon Allowances

24 May

Concerns about excess allowances in California’s carbon cap-and-trade program and how they may impact the state’s ability to reach its 2030 greenhouse reduction  goal were aired this week in the state capitol. During a May 24 hearing of the Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change Policies, the question of whether extra allowances in the market […]

Climate Roundup: Environmentalists Sue EPA on Car Mileage Standards

15 May

The Sierra Club and other environmental organizations joined the legal fray this week over the Trump Administration’s plans to weaken federal mileage standards for autos designed to cut greenhouse gases and encourage production of electric vehicles. The Sierra Club filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit against the federal Environmental […]

Brown’s Budget Update Hikes Forest Fire Prevention Funds

15 May

Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised 2018-19 budget proposal released May 11 would allocate $1.25 billion in carbon cap-and- trade revenue to protect against climate change. Included is $256 million to reduce wildfire threats in the state, up from $220 million this fiscal year. Brown’s initial budget, released in January, included $160 million of cap-and-trade auction revenue […]

CEC Okays Funding Greenhouse Gases Cuts

10 May

The California Energy Commission May 9 approved a $277.5 million investment plan for its Alternative & Renewable Fuel & Vehicle Technology Program in fiscal year 2018-19. It is heavily weighted toward building electric vehicle charging infrastructure and refueling stations for hydrogen powered vehicles. Under the plan, CEC plans to provide $134.5 million to help build […]

The Buzz

2 Mar

Tin ears are prevalent this week. During the U.S. EPA’s public “listening session” in San Francisco mid-week on the agency’s plan to revoke the Clean Power Plan, Mary Nichols, California Air Resources Board head, questions agency officials’ hearing ability. The decibels in the room increase with the long line of speakers blasting the proposed repeal […]

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 […]