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Opinionated: Boom in Electric Transportation Means SoCal Jobs

9 Mar

In the 1990s, Southern California was lamenting the demise of its once thriving auto industry. But the rise of electric transportation in recent years has created a new boom, according to a report  recently issued by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.. And with that boom comes jobs, according to the report, titled “Economic […]

Bills Keep Utilities from Benefiting from Wildfire Penalties, Promote Clean Power

5 Mar

Even before Pacific Gas & Electric was hit last Thursday with a $2.14 billion penalty for sparking devastating wildfires in 2017 and 2018, a bill was introduced to prohibit the utility from deducting it or other safety penalties from its tax liability. It would be “obscene” to allow PG&E to take a tax deduction on […]

The Buzz

28 Feb

Pacific Gas & Electric is hit with a historic fine of $2.14 billion for igniting deadly wildfires in Northern California in 2017 and 2018. It comes a few days after PG&E reports significant losses in its 2019 earnings report. The private utilities in the southern half of the state fare far better. Southern California Edison, […]

JUICE: Smart Inverters Need Smarter Rules

26 Feb

Rarely do inverters make front page news. But they are the stars of the 2019 Integrated Energy Policy Report approved last week by the California Energy Commission. It calls on the energy agencies and grid operator to accelerate research, development, and use of smart inverters to “enhance power quality, decrease grid disturbances, and participate in […]

Guest Juice: Is CA Trying to Kill the Community-Scale Generation Market?

10 Feb

The community-scale market segment has been plagued by ongoing policy neglect, and otherwise poor policy choices. Will policymakers heed the track record of demonstrated failure and finally create new programs that address previous problems? Ken Lund Flickr cc California, long a progressive leader on renewable energy and climate change mitigation, has neglected a key market […]

House Panel Hearing on Wildfires & Power Accompanied by Carbon Neutrality Bill

28 Jan

House Democrats formally introduced legislation to make the United States climate neutral by 2050 the same day a committee heard about strategies for reducing wildfire threats, including those sparked by utility equipment. Rep. Frank Pallone, House Energy & Commerce Committee Chair, warned of climate disruption exacerbated wildfires, and highlighted the Jan. 28 launch of The […]

CPUC Sets Priorities for Utility Microgrids

27 Jan

In the wake of devastating wildfires, followed by deliberate grid shutdowns to prevent even more utility-sparked fires, major electric companies released plans for keeping communities powered during shutoffs. The plans submitted by Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric are part of microgrid proceeding before the California Public Utilities […]

Storage Rebates Shift to Communities in High Fire Areas

16 Jan

In the latest after-effect of the preemptive blackouts that Northern Californians suffered through last Fall, the California Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously Jan. 16 to accelerate rebates for energy storage systems in fire-stressed communities. The rebates will prioritize places like grocery stores, corner stores, independent living centers, food banks and other places where people spontaneously […]

Assembly Bills Focus on Wildfire Impacts and Resource Adequacy

14 Jan

Protecting utilities against wildfire liability and customers against the loss of power during safety shutoffs remain top legislative priorities. AB 235 by Assemblymember Chad Mayes (I-Yucca Valley) and two other legislators would allow PG&E to issue bonds to pay for wildfire victim recovery claims after Jan. 2019. This bill, which was carried over from the […]

Back in the Spotlight: Power Outages and Supplies, and the Definition of Renewable

14 Jan

Before lawmakers this session is Senate legislation to make buildings more fire resistant in high risk areas, protect customers during utility power shutoffs, and rework the renewables mandate. A few of these bills will be heard Jan. 15 in the Senate Energy, Utilities & Communication Committee’s first hearing of the year. Three bills seek to […]

JUICE: Microgrids Provide Power During Wildfires & Other Emergencies

5 Dec

The head of Pacific Gas & Electric, Bill Johnson, warned that public safety power outages may continue for a decade in areas facing high wildfire risk. It’s been estimated that the power shutoffs in Northern and Central California could cost the state economy about $2 billion. Those impacted are frustrated and so too are policymakers […]

CAISO Report Seeks to Advance Energy Storage

3 Dec

Opportunities and barriers to energy storage deployment in order to green the grid in California and Europe are the focus of a California Independent System Operator report. “Accelerating the spread of energy storage will propel a renewables-based energy system–alongside increased flexibility options and a better use of (existing) infrastructure–and subsequently help reach ambitious Paris Agreement […]

Undercurrents

19 Nov

During a Nov. 19 workshop on reducing the energy use of the water and wastewater industries, providing conveyors and wastewater treatment operators real time energy use data was called critical. The water and wastewater industries use about 20 percent of the electricity in the state and about 30 percent of the natural gas use for […]

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 […]

PG&E on Hot Seat over Massive Shutoff’s Costs

21 Oct

During an emergency meeting, state energy regulators and others did not mince words when criticizing Pacific Gas & Electric for the safety, health and financial impacts of its unprecedented Northern California power shutoff in the face of wildfire risks. “You guys failed on so many levels,” Marybel Batjer, California Public Utilities Commission president, told PG&E […]

CA’s Carbon Goal Requires Steeper Emissions Cuts, Report Finds

8 Oct

In spite of significant greenhouse gas cuts from California’s electricity sector, the state is expected to fall well short of its 2030 climate protection target. Rising emissions from the transportation and commercial sectors are largely to blame, according to Next 10’s eleventh annual California Green Innovation Index. This updated Index “serves as a wake-up call,” […]

Governor Signs Wildfire Bills Affecting Utilities

1 Oct

Updated Oct. 2. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed energy bills Oct. 2 related to utility power shutoffs to prevent wildfires, as well as two other wildfire-related measures setting new requirements for utilities. Meanwhile, several other energy measures await action by Newsom  before the Oct. 13 deadline. He must either sign the bills into law, veto them, […]

CPUC OKs 27% & 17% Revenue Rise for Sempra Utilities

26 Sep

The California Public Utilities Commission Sept. 26 unanimously adopted a 13.78 percent increase in SoCal Gas’ 2019 test year revenue requirement over last year’s rates to reach nearly $2.8 billion. The hike was made as part of the Sempra utility’s 2019-21 general rate case. The five commissioners also signed off on a higher revenue requirement […]

Increasing Electrification Shakes Up Demand Forecasting

26 Sep

Utility industry changes are putting to the test the California Energy Commission’s 40-year old demand forecasting. Forecasters need to figure out how to reshape demand given the state’s high electrification future, including its effect on distribution planning, demand and supply interactions, customer choice and long term investment scenarios, Commissioner Andrew McAllister said at the Sept. […]

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 […]