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Climate Roundup: Low Carbon Energy Project Slated for Huntington Beach

13 Dec

SoCal Gas joined with the University of California-Irvine’s Advanced Power & Energy Program Dec. 12 to design an “advanced energy community” in an underserved neighborhood in Huntington Beach. The community will be planned as a replicable model that employs solar, wind, and renewable natural gas technology, including storage of renewable energy with power-to-gas technology. “Creating […]

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 […]

Peevey’s Walk Down Memory Lane

2 Nov

A retrospective of the Golden State’s decades-long trail blazing effort to protect the climate by slashing air pollution and curbing sprawl was presented by California’s former head energy regulator mid-week. If California were a nation, it would rank as the 6th largest economy in the world, but yet it produces just 1 percent of global […]

Former Fed Regulators Say Perry Plan is Off Base

31 Oct

Four former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission members criticized Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal to reward coal and nuclear plants in power markets for offering fuel security during a forum an Oct. 31 sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. The commissioners, whose service spanned administrations dating back to President Ronald Reagan, said Perry’s proposal—which […]

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: 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, […]

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 […]

The Buzz

29 Sep

A future as predictable as a Ouiji board was a central theme at the Independent Energy Producer’s annual meeting this week amid mounting uncertainty from the changing role of utilities and the scarcity of contracts for generators. Speaking of contracts, and lack of them, utility regulators this week nixed a deal between Southern California Edison […]

FERC’s New Chair Walks Fine Line

14 Sep

Neil Chatterjee, the new Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chair, signaled a subtle shift in the commission’s focus to maintaining grid reliability as more renewable energy comes online, during a Sept. 14 House Energy & Commerce Energy Subcommittee hearing. The commission under former President Barack Obama highlighted the role of matching power demand with available energy […]

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), […]

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 […]

Perry Backs Away from Claiming Changing Power Mix Threatens Grid

24 Aug

To counter the rise in electricity powered by natural gas and intermittent renewable energy and fall of coal and nuclear fired power plants, the Department of Energy recommends reforming electricity pricing in centralized markets, including mitigating negative prices. It also calls for reducing the cost of licensing and relicensing nuclear power plants, large hydro and […]

LADWP Moves Forward on Energy Storage

21 Aug

The nation’s largest municipal power utility committed to connecting 178 MW of electricity storage projects to its system over the next five years. The first project is a 20 MW battery system that will store excess power produced by major solar and wind projects in the Mojave Desert. Acting Aug. 16, the Los Angeles Department […]

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 […]

CEC Seeks to Overcome Microgrid Hurdles

26 Jul

The California Energy Commission wants to unleash the power of microgrids to make the state’s electric system more resilient an adaptable as energy needs and technologies change. But first, it must figure out how to overcome significant obstacles. Microgrids, which generally consist of local distribution networks supplied by distributed generation resources and are often equipped […]

Undercurrents: Perry “Bullish” on LNG Exports

18 Jul

Energy Secretary Rick Perry told reporters in Washington July 18 that he envisions the U.S., along with Canada and Mexico, becoming a dominant force in international energy markets. Perry voiced support for a continuing Department of Energy and government role in funding research and development of a wide range of technologies—from clean coal and nuclear […]

Opinionated: NREL at 40-It Started With a Desire to Harness the Sun

11 Jul

By Wayne Hicks and Don Gwinner May 3, 1978, fell on a Wednesday, but it was Sun Day as well. President Jimmy Carter, who had designated the date to highlight the potential of solar energy, spent part of the afternoon visiting an office park in Golden, Colorado. It was there, 10 months earlier that the […]

CPUC Takes Time Weighing Utility EV Charging Plans

11 Jul

State energy agency officials on July 11 peppered utility representatives with questions about their plans to spend some $1 billion to develop electric vehicle charging infrastructure up and down the state over the next five years. How the plans will advance public acceptance of electric vehicles and help meet the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals […]

The Buzz

7 Jul

Taking the “dis” out of disadvantaged communities was center stage for lawmakers and regulators this week.  Reversing the trend of rising climate emissions and co-pollutants in poor local neighborhoods was the focus of a joint legislative Climate Change Policy panel.  Meanwhile, the CPUC zeroed in on making environmental justice  energy programs just. The Utilities & […]