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CA Exodus from Federal Advisory Roles

6 Sep

California is steadily losing its voice when it comes to federal energy and environmental policy as the Trump Administration either alienates or removes Californians from various advisory committees and delegations in Washington. In the latest move, The Trump Administration notified Carl Zichella Sept. 1 that he would not be reappointed to the Department of Energy’s […]

The Buzz

25 Aug

State utility regulators okayed a shift in the peak pricing period to later in the day for San Diego Gas & Electric customers. Industry advocates warn it erodes the economic advantages of rooftop solar. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry gets an education about how the grid operates. A Department of Energy staff report he requested […]

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 […]

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 […]

Undercurrents: So Cal Mayors Strive to Advance Port Clean Up

13 Jun

The mayors of Los Angeles and Long Beach announced their commitment to reducing air pollution from their major ports June 12. “Our ports are the engines that power our economy — they must also be the forces that drive our region toward a greener, more sustainable future,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. The Los […]

The Buzz

25 May

Pacific Gas & Electric fails to garner an extra $1.5 billion for decommissioning its Diablo Canyon nuclear reactor, as the CPUC stands by an administrative law judge’s decision. FERC moves a bit closer to a quorum as a Senate panel holds a hearing on President Trump’s nominees. In a report that’s, well, quite predictable, CARB […]

Guest Juice: DOE Grid “Study”: Politics Trump Facts

1 May

By John Moore Secretary of Energy Rick Perry has directed his agency to conduct a hurried review of how environmental protection standards and clean energy incentives are apparently threatening to bring our power grid to its knees. That action shows either a lack of understanding as to how grid operators (including the one back in […]

Clean Energy Groups Call for Open DOE Study

1 May

In response to Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s call for a study of how renewable energy is affecting grid reliability and power markets, three clean energy groups called on him to make sure the review is conducted through “a public process.” In a letter to Perry on May 1, Advanced Energy Economy, the American Wind Energy […]

Carbon Intensity of Electricity Continues to Fall

1 May

The carbon intensity of the electric sector declined last year to 48 kg CO2/MMBtu, according to the Energy Information Administration, as depicted below. After averaging near 60 kg CO2/MMBtu for decades, the electric sector’s carbon intensity fell in 2016 to a level slightly lower than the overall carbon intensity of natural gas. That fuel produces […]

The Buzz

13 Apr

Eggs gathered in Current’s Easter news basket include approval of two controversial and large natural gas project redos along the SoCal coast. The California Energy Commission unanimously approved the Huntington & Alamitos replacement projects, which are to be cooled with air, not seawater-cooled. On the agenda at this week’s Energy Commission post business meeting closed […]

CA Joins Suit Against DOE Over Efficiency Standards

13 Apr

The California Energy Commission took action after discussing pending litigation against the U.S. Department of Energy for delaying energy efficiency standards for numerous products during the closed session portion of its April 12 business meeting. The CEC chair authorized the chief counsel’s office to participate in litigation over the DOE’s stalling on  “effective dates and […]

JUICE: Trump & CA’s Clean Energy House

5 Apr

President Donald Trump’s growling about climate-friendly federal laws, rules and programs could be worse than his greenhouse gas emissions bite to California’s climate protection efforts, at least in the short term. But, threatened financial chomps are a concern with the possible slashing of federal funding for state renewable energy programs and low-income energy assistance. Sharp […]

Perry Lambasted in Nevada Visit

29 Mar

A meeting between the new Secretary of Energy and Nevada’s governor aimed at thawing opposition to a nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain in the Silver State produced little more than frost. After touring Yucca Mountain March 27, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry thanked Gov. Brian Sandoval “for the long and storied history” Nevada has […]

Climate Roundup: Climate Change to Add Billion$ to Grid Costs

21 Mar

Increasing temperatures due to global warming could cost the nation up to $180 billion in additional capital costs for the power system to adequately serve peak demand by the end of the century, according to researchers at the University of California and Arizona State University. Peak power demand is likely to increase by up to […]


21 Mar

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is poised to contract for 150 MW of geothermal power from Ormat’s Northern Nevada Geothermal Portfolio Project, which consists of both existing and new geothermal units. Under the 15-year deal, LADWP plans to pay $75.50/MWh or $94 million a year. The Los Angeles City Council has to […]


31 Jan

California’s snow pack is “very robust,” Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program, reported Feb. 2. The Department of Water Resources measured a snow water equivalence of 28.1 inches at the Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada, far surpassing 6 inches found on Jan. 3.  After taking measurements at 101 stations, DWR […]

DOE Pursues Community Backing for Nuclear Waste Dump

28 Apr

After facing insurmountable opposition to constructing a long-term nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, NV, the Department of Energy is attempting a new strategy for getting one built to handle growing levels of radioactive waste at San Onofre and elsewhere. “Nuclear waste management is at an impasse,” acknowledged John Kotek, acting assistant secretary for nuclear […]


17 Dec

The Department of Water Resources entered a 20-year solar power purchase agreement Dec. 15 with the Solverde I Solar Facility. The 85 MW photovoltaic facility near Lancaster in northern Los Angeles County uses solar tracking technology to enhance output. DWR said that through the life of the contract Solverde should provide it with nearly 4.8 million […]

House Panel Examines Nuclear Waste Mess, But Lacks Solution

3 Dec

A House committee took up the federal government’s gridlocked nuclear waste disposal program Dec. 3, but proposed no specific course toward creating a permanent resting place for spent fuel and other radioactive material from the nation’s nuclear generating plants. (more…)


12 Nov

The city of Morro Bay last month entered into a cooperative agreement with Trident Wind Energy, which is trying to develop a 1,000 MW wind farm off the San Luis Obispo County coast. The power from the wind project could be transmitted to connect with the grid at the closed down Morro Bay Power Plant […]