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The Buzz

12 Mar

The rising threat of the new coronavirus gets state and federal agencies in gear.  A few days earlier, regulators and other energy entities don’t agree on how to respond. The state grid operator is the first to take major precautions, discontinuing its in-person meetings to thwart the possible spread of COVID-19 pathogens. With no fanfare, […]

CEC Awards $25M in Energy Reduction Grants & Loans

11 Mar

The California Energy Commission approved $19.4 million in grants to help food producers in the state cut their energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions. Also at this week’s March 11 meeting, newly confirmed commissioner Patty Monahan applauded the agency for pressing forward on transportation electrification with its upcoming Integrated Energy Policy Report. It will […]

Shorts

10 Mar

California does not yet have any offshore wind plants nor do most other states on the West and East coasts. There is only one commercial offshore wind farm in the U.S., which is in Rhode Island. This market, however, is expected to grow quickly with tools to improve offshore wind turbine performance, making them more […]

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 […]

CPUC Rewards Utility Shareholders $43M for Energy Savings, Despite Concerns

27 Feb

Shareholders of three of the four investor-owned utilities were awarded more than $43 million for efficiency program savings funded by ratepayers, in a resolution passed by the California Public Utilities Commission. The awards, approved Feb 27 on a 4-1 vote, cover the 2017 to 2018 period. The lone opponent was Commissioner Marta Guzman Aceves, who […]

Shorts

26 Feb

Updated Feb. 27 The Department of Water Resources latest snow survey found the snow depth was 47% of the March average at the Phillips Station in South Lake Tahoe. The statewide snowpack depth was measured at 11 inches, or 46 percent of the March average. “Right now, 2020 is on track to be a below-average […]

Clean Economy Hopes & Hurdles Highlighted in IEPR Report

25 Feb

California has successfully decoupled economic growth from energy consumption, a fact highlighted in the new Integrated Energy Policy Report by the California Energy Commission. That’s an indicator that California can attain carbon neutrality before midcentury. But the report says much more work is needed to get there. Between 2000 and 2018, California’s gross state product […]

Shorts

20 Feb

The California Energy Commission approved a Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s community solar program. The Feb. 20 approval was based on the Energy Commission’s 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, which allow community solar in place of PV roof tops on new single family homes. “We expected that the marketplace and stakeholders would find solutions appropriate for […]

Energy Savings & Storage Gain Broad Backing From House Panel

13 Feb

Federal legislation to increase energy efficiency across various sectors and advance energy storage received wide support Feb. 12 from a House Energy & Commerce Committee subcommittee. Before the lawmakers were bipartisan bills to increase energy savings in the residential, industrial and commercial sectors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save consumers money and create jobs. Lawmakers […]

Shorts

11 Feb

SoCal Gas announced Feb. 11 that its customers saved $55.6 million in 2019 on their annual gas bills through utility energy efficiency programs. The reduced energy consumption avoided about 265,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking more than 57,000 cars off of California roads for one year, according to SoCal Gas. […]

CEC Okays Diesel Engine at Geothermal Plant & PV Exemption

23 Jan

The California Energy Commission Jan. 22 approved adding a diesel engine to a geothermal power plant, exempting new residential buildings from its photovoltaic requirements, and signing off on $2.7 million in clean energy grants. The CEC also launched a small energy project proceeding for a new data center, which could allow diesel backup generators. A […]

Shorts

13 Jan

Updated Jan. 16 The Department of Energy Jan. 16 approved adding steps to a rule setting new energy efficiency standards for refrigerators, dishwashers, home furnaces, commercial air conditioners, industrial motors and other equipment. DOE “designed its new process rule to make it slower and harder to establish energy-saving efficiency standards,” Andrew deLaski, executive director of […]

House Bill Seeks 100% Carbon Free Economy

8 Jan

House Energy & Commerce Committee members Jan. 8 unveiled an ambitious climate protection legislative framework to achieve a 100% clean economy in the U.S. in 30 years. The bill seeks to transform the American economy by 2050, said Energy Committee Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ). It is “an enormous challenge,” he noted, but one that is […]

CA New Green Deal Pitched

7 Jan

California lawmakers unveiled a state Green New Deal Jan. 6. “Just like with the original New Deal by FDR in 1932 that lifted America out of the Great Depression, we too must now harness all of our people power, political capital and courage to meet today’s greatest challenge—the clear and present danger of climate change,” […]

Shorts

11 Dec

San Bernardino’s County Board of Supervisors Dec. 10 turned down a bid to derail a 650 MW solar power project in Daggett. The 650 MW solar plant, which is being developed by Clearway Energy, will cover 3,500 acres of high desert land and is to include 450 MW of battery storage.  The Newberry Community Services […]

The Buzz

5 Dec

A carbon tax is the talk of the town this week. Republican members of a House panel insist it would be a cost without a benefit because global action is critical. In response, their Democratic brethren chastise them for not partaking in the ongoing UN climate talks. Solar-powered microgrids paired with battery storage can keep […]

Overlooked Energy Efficiency Gets its Due in Building Decarbonization

4 Dec

The often forgotten middle child of the clean energy family, energy efficiency, shared center stage with other carbon emissions cutting measures targeting California homes and commercial buildings. Energy efficiency has “a lot of ties with decarbonization,” said Commission Andrew McAllister during the CEC’s Dec. 4 workshop on cutting greenhouse gases from buildings 40 percent by […]

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 […]

FERC Nominee & Clean Energy Bills Advance

19 Nov

The U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee sent its recommended approval of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission nominee James Danly to the full Senate. Danly, a Republican nominee, gained the panel’s backing Nov. 19 on a 12-8 vote. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) who supported Danly, objected again to the White House’s refusal to move on […]

CEC Steps in After Trump Guts Lighting Standard

13 Nov

The California Energy Commission acted this week to prevent incandescent and other inefficient general light bulbs from being sold in the Golden State after the Trump Administration overturned national standards in order to allow the sale of the inefficient bulbs. California has the authority to set tighter lighting standards under the U.S. Code, Title 22. […]