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Climate Roundup: CARB Set to Adopt Updated Scoping Plan

5 Dec

The California Air Resources Board released the final draft of its updated scoping plan for meeting the state’s 40 percent greenhouse gas reduction goal by 2030 on Nov. 30. “The plan is a package of economically viable and technologically feasible actions to not just keep California on track to achieve its 2030 target, but stay […]

Climate Roundup: Electric Big Rigs Face Big Costs

30 Nov

Electric big rig trucks, which the state is pushing hard to cut emissions of greenhouse gases and unhealthful pollutants from transportation, have high “upfront costs” that “are prohibitive,” Navigant Research concluded in a report released Nov. 29. The report comes as the California Public Utilities Commission is weighing a plan by Southern California Edison to […]

Undercurrents

29 Nov

The Bonneville Power Administration is keeping an eye on how flows of electricity to California and others in the grid operator’s Energy Imbalance Market might affect its ability to provide reliable power to the Pacific Northwest. Russell Mantifel, Bonneville EIM access program manager, outlined the effort in a presentation Nov. 28 at the Regional EIM […]

Climate Roundup: E-Highway Test for Trucks in Los Angeles

20 Nov

As the state targets heavy-duty trucks for electrification, news about Tesla’s plan to build battery-powered big rigs overshadowed the start of a demonstration project based on a different approach—using overhead catenary electricity supply lines to power trucks in urban areas. Converting the state’s huge truck fleet to zero or near zero emissions technology is a […]

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 […]

CPUC Rolls Out CA Power System Resource Plan

2 Nov

The California Public Utilities Commission laid out its goals for the upcoming integrated resource planning process to guide future procurement of power resources towards a lower carbon future. Under the integrated resource planning process, said CPUC staff member Forest Kaser, the reference plan aims to identify the least-cost approach to meeting the state’s 2030 greenhouse […]

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 […]

LADWP Sees Big Load Growth from Electric Vehicles

17 Oct

The Los Angeles Department of Water expects its power load to grow 50 percent if all the vehicles operating in Los Angeles run on electricity, according to Dave Wright, the muni’s general manager. On an interim basis, meeting that power demand might require an increase in the muni’s carbon emissions rights allocation from the California […]

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 […]

Undercurrents: Dividing VW Penalty Pie

9 Oct

Another big crowd filled a California Air Resources Board meeting Oct. 9 to develop a plan for how to spend $423 million in penalty money Volkswagen is paying for its major Smog Check cheating scandal. Under a straw man proposal developed by the Air Board, most of the focus is on reducing emissions from trucks, […]

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 […]

Undercurrents: $1.5 B Electric Vehicle Spending Plan Advances

4 Oct

The California Air Resources Board’s meeting laying a plan to allocate almost $1.5 billion in the coming year to advance electrification of transportation and a variety of mobile equipment used in the freight shipping industry drew a big crowd on Oct. 4. The blueprint includes $663 million of carbon emissions rights auction money raised by […]

JUICE: Electric Lifts for All

25 Sep

While I creep along a 16-lane section of Interstate 5 heading back to Los Angeles from San Diego, state leaders are putting the pedal to the metal to convert California’s transportation sector to electric technology that will be fueled by renewable energy. With their confidence bolstered by the remarkable strides in converting the state’s power […]

Climate Roundup: Utilities Don’t Worsen Methane Hot Spots

25 Sep

Updated Sept. 28 Results from an ongoing study of methane hotspots in California  largely show that natural gas utilities and power plants are not routinely creating highly elevated local levels of the greenhouse gas. In a Sept. 28 presentation to the California Air Resources Board, the analysis did show that oil and gas wells, refineries, […]

Legislation Awaits Brown’s Pen

20 Sep

A dozen-and-a-half energy bills were among the pile of measures lawmakers sent to the governor at the end of their session. They include a Senate bill to help fill in possible supply gaps from a slimmed down Aliso Canyon gas storage field to Assembly measures to increase installations of electric vehicle chargers. SB 801 by […]

Cap-&-Trade Spending Plan Headed for Passage

13 Sep

The fate of a bill to require 100 percent renewable power in California remained uncertain mid-week as the Legislature raced toward a Friday deadline to finish up its business in Sacramento. However, lawmakers and the governor broke a deadlock Sept. 12 that appears to clear the way for a massive spending measure funded by carbon […]

Climate Roundup: Report Cites Rising Greenhouse Gases from Transportation

22 Aug

Greenhouse gas pollution from cars, trucks and other motor vehicles rose in California, slowing the drop in overall emissions. “On an absolute basis, California’s total GHG emissions fell only slightly in 2015, down 0.34 percent from 2014,” according to a new report, California Green Innovation Index, released by Next 10 Aug. 22. Transportation-related greenhouse gases […]

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 […]

Electric Cars & Solar Roofs Driving Energy Demand

3 Aug

California’s future demand for electricity from utilities—and to some extent natural gas—will hinge on how fast electric vehicles and solar rooftops advance in the marketplace, according to the California Energy Commission’s latest forecast. Solar and electric vehicles, according to Chris Kavalic, Energy Commission researcher, “make the most difference in our forecast.” The commission previewed its […]

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 […]