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Climate Roundup: ESPs Fall Short on Renewables

16 Oct

A new law raises the cap on direct access providers by 4,000 GWh, or up to 15 percent of total retail load. However, the bulk of the energy service providers who make power deals with commercial and industrial energy users get failing grades on their renewable portfolio standard compliance. Direct access companies are required to […]

Advanced Nuclear Reactors Gain Bipartisan Steam

13 Sep

The allure of developing advanced nuclear power technologies not vulnerable to reactor meltdowns gained ground in the U.S. Senate this week. Bipartisan legislation was introduced to direct the Department of Energy to build a fast neutron-capable research reactor. The bipartisan bill, S. 3422, is sponsored by nine senators, including Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Dick Durbin (D-IL), […]

Undercurrents

14 Aug

In the wake of the departure of Robert Powelson from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, President Donald Trump has signaled he may nominate Bernard McNamee, head of the Department of Energy’s Office of Policy, to fill the vacancy. McNamee was involved in developing a Department of Energy proposed rule calling for out-of-market payments to coal […]

Shorts

2 Jul

CR&R Environmental, a waste management company in Perris, has begun injecting renewable natural gas into the SoCal Gas pipeline system, the utility announced July 2. The gas will be used to power 400 CR&R waste hauling trucks based at another location. CR&R produces the gas from green waste it collects in Southern California and then […]

Undercurrents

19 Jun

Updated June 20. Colorado is signing on to California’s auto emissions standards, making it the fifteenth state or jurisdiction (including the District of Columbia) to do so. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper issued an executive order June 19 signaling the state’s intention to enforce the standards. Hickenlooper made the move just ahead of an expected proposal […]

Shorts

19 Jun

Updated June 21. The grid operator acted June 21 to better align its transmission congestion revenue rights auction revenue with what it pays out to the rights holders in its day-ahead market. On a monthly basis of late, according to the California Independent System Operator, payouts have exceeded revenues by between $2 million and $20 […]

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 […]

DOE Aims to Roll Back Hurdles to Hydrogen Infrastructure

13 Jun

The U.S. Department of Energy opened an inquiry June 13 to identify and reduce regulatory barriers to the advancement of hydrogen energy infrastructure. In a request for information, the department asked hydrogen energy stakeholders to provide their ideas on “priority research and development areas for reducing regulatory barriers to deployment of hydrogen technologies.” DOE said […]

Nuclear & Coal Bailout to Hike Home Utility Bills

7 Jun

Californians could be paying hundreds of dollars more a year for power if the Trump Administration advances a plan to bail out coal and nuclear power plant owners and operators. It would cost the nation’s electricity ratepayers more than $30 billion annually on their power bills, skeptics say about the subsidies under discussion in Washington. […]

Shorts

4 Jun

Updated June 7. Utility regulators held a two-day meeting this week on how to potentially redesign electricity rates to accommodate an increasing number of electric vehicles in the coming years. The meeting on June 7 and 8 also focused on how to address rate design to encourage production of hydrogen to power fuel cell vehicles. […]

Undercurrents

15 May

Updated May 11 Community choice agencies take issue with the California Public Utilities Commission’s paper released two weeks ago that claims community energy, along with the proliferation of solar rooftops, could drive the state into another energy crisis. “It is an unfair characteristization,” Beth Vaughn. California Community Choice Association executive director, said during a May […]

The Buzz

4 May

Trump and friends‘ effort to dismantle climate protection and alternative energy laws are keeping California lawyers busy, although legislative overkill has weakened some challenges. But harm from the federal administration’s rejiggering of formulas that will turn the pluses of lower carbon emissions and energy efficient appliances into minuses is closer at hand. Back in San […]

Shorts

1 May

The California grid operator virtually kept unchanged its local capacity requirement forecast for 2019-2023.  During a short May 1 call with stakeholders, California Independent System Operator staff said that the total 2019 local capacity requirement increased by a mere 37 MW, or by less than 1 percent. For 2023, the local capacity projected need fell […]

Climate Roundup: Mixed Signals on CA Vehicle Standards Waiver

30 Apr

The fate of California’s electric vehicle requirement hangs in the balance. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt late last week told a Congressional panel he had no plans to rescind a waiver that lets the state set its own auto emissions standards. However, that was contradicted the next day by news reports indicating EPA […]

Undercurrents

25 Apr

A bill to carve out a utility procurement mandate for biomass, biogas, and geothermal power made it through an Assembly Committee April 23, but only after specific numeric requirements were axed and replaced with vague placeholder language. AB 2208 by Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), who represents the Geysers geothermal resource area, said her bill “will […]

Shorts

17 Apr

Energy Secretary Rick Perry this week announced almost $150 million in Department of Energy funding for renewable energy technologies. “American ingenuity is the engine of our energy economy,” said Perry. “Investing in all of our abundant energy sources, including solar technologies, will help to drive down costs and ensure that the nation leads the world […]

Undercurrents

20 Mar

As the state faces up to the loss of power that closing Pacific Gas & Electric’s 2,200 MW Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant will create come the middle of the next decade, the California Energy Commission is eyeing areas offshore of the plant as potential candidates for placing wind power facilities. During a March 12 […]

House Considers Cyber Security Bills for U.S. Energy System

14 Mar

A House panel took up legislation to guard the nation’s energy systems against cyber attacks amid growing concern about potential threats to the electric grid, pipelines, and liquefied natural gas import and export terminals. “The increasingly interconnected nature of our energy systems are changing how we prepare for and respond to emergencies that threaten the […]

Undercurrents

1 Mar

The California Public Utilities Commission March 1 approved 5-0 the appointment of 10 members to the newly created Disadvantaged Communities Advisory Group. The members are to provide the CPUC and California Energy Commission advice on whether proposed clean energy and pollution reduction programs would benefit struggling communities in polluted areas. Creation of this advisory group […]

Shorts

13 Feb

Updated Feb. 15. The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is purchasing biomass power from the American Renewable Power-Loyalton Biomass project in Sierra County. LADWP will get 8.9 MW of biomass energy from American Renewable for five years under the deal at a cost of $97.50 per MWh. The deal helps satisfy an obligation […]