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Juice: Green Power vs. Green Jobs?

16 Apr

The New Green Deal, a 14-page national resolution to clean up the environment and simultaneously address social inequity by creating new job opportunities and strengthening the social safety net, lacks the force of law. But, it is a powerful, timely idea and symbol that’s causing lots of people to cheer or chastise it. Its potency […]

Inside the Beltway: Lawmakers Spotlight Efficiency & Global Warming

11 Apr

The House Energy & Commerce Committee during an April 10 hearing discussed eight bills aimed at advancing energy efficiency in buildings and helping blue collar workers transition to green collar jobs. “Efficiency work supports thousands of good-paying jobs at small businesses in every state,” said Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), who chairs the committee. “The eight […]

The Buzz

4 Apr

Bankrupt Pacific Gas & Electric announces a new slate of directors. The Tennessee Valley Authority’s former chief is named the new CEO, with final voting to take place at the end of May. California energy and waste regulators start to grapple with surging quantities of aging solar panels and batteries. Steps needed to avert a […]

Assembly Panel Okays Bills on Power Shutoff Rules & Unions

3 Apr

Legislation tweaking energy rules and policies, including setting deenergization protocols and prohibiting utilities from using ratepayer funds to deter workers from unionizing, passed out of the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee April 3. AB 868 by Assemblymember Frank Bigelow (R-Placerville) requires that private and public utilities develop criteria specifying when and how they will stop […]

Alternative Energy Bills Go Forward

2 Apr

The Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee approved a small number of bills April 2, including ones to increase the savings of utility energy efficiency programs and expand fuels that can be used in qualifying biomass plants. The approved measures include SB 524 by Sen. Henry Stern (D-Calabasas). It seeks to increase the energy savings […]

House Hearing Contrasts State Climate Action & Fed Inaction

2 Apr

Updated April 4 State clean energy laws and policies, from renewable energy mandates to electric vehicles, along with community climate protection initiatives, were touted for increasing environmental and economic health during an April 2 hearing in the House Energy & Commerce Committee. A light was shined on these policies and practices also to put the […]

Juice: Climate Change Is A Force for Decentralizing Energy

26 Mar

California utilities have been under pressure for years from new small-scale and decentralized power generation technologies like rooftop solar, and aging facilities that have exploded and killed people. Add in climate-driven wildfires and the utilities are being pushed to the brink. This requires changes to the role and structure of monopoly utilities, as many have […]

Shorts

12 Mar

Updated March 14. A U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that the federal bankruptcy court shall decide the fate of up to $42 billion in contracts Pacific Gas & Electric signed and may void. In late January, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled that it has concurrent authority over the fate of […]

DOE Slammed for Stalling Efficiency Rules

7 Mar

The Department of Energy’s delay in implementing energy efficiency standards for several products was heavily criticized by Democratic lawmakers, but largely defended by their Republican colleagues. That was in spite of the fact that both parties during a March 7 hearing by the House Energy & Commerce Committee insisted efficiency was a bipartisan issue. “DOE has […]

Assembly Panel Seeks Assurances of A Clean Affordable Future

7 Mar

An Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee hearing centered on how to ensure California reliably and affordably decarbonizes it energy infrastructure at a time when the sector is going through a metamorphosis. “It is a difficult challenge and we have met the challenge to date,” Mark Rothleder, California Independent System Operator vice president of market quality […]

U.S. Senate Panel Focuses on Emissions & the Grid

5 Mar

Climate change’s impact on the nation’s electric system and the need for more clean and reliable energy were in the spotlight during a bipartisan committee hearing this week in Washington, D.C. “The electricity sector is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to climate change, but it is perhaps the most visible and […]

Opinionated: Gadgets Are Increasingly Connected

4 Mar

By Fereidoon Sioshansi Every year hordes of people from around the world gather in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show, one of the biggest shows in town. This year was no exception with 4,000 companies showing their latest gadgets to 150,000 delegates from 100 countries. For the past few years, all sorts of smart […]

Opinionated: State Puts Buildings in Energy Policy Spotlight

25 Feb

By Pierre Delforge California took another pioneering step in tackling carbon emissions from millions of homes and commercial buildings across the state Feb. 20. The California Energy Commission’s latest policy report puts reducing the climate and air pollution from buildings front and center for the first time, representing a bold—and necessary—shift in energy priorities. It […]

Juice: Can CCAs Build a Resilient Energy System?

5 Feb

Pacific Gas & Electric’s bankruptcy is forcing California energy policymakers to grapple with the future of the energy utility business model. PG&E’s massive $30 billion liability for wildfires has led the California Public Utilities Commission to investigate how the utility might be broken up into smaller units that could avoid electric lines sparking fires and […]

Shorts

31 Jan

The West’s energy imbalance market saved electric utility customers $62.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 by finding purchasers for 23,425 MWh of surplus renewable energy that otherwise would have been curtailed, according to the California Independent System Operator on Jan. 31. Since the market— which facilitates short-term trades of excess power—began operating in […]

Coalition Calls for Ending Natural Gas Use in Buildings

29 Jan

California energy regulators need to substantially revise their policies to make sure buildings become part of the solution to meeting the state’s ambitious greenhouse gas reductions goals instead of a roadblock, according to a series of white papers issued Jan. 29 by the Building Decarbonization Coalition. The key, according to the group, is to eliminate […]

The Buzz

10 Jan

State energy regulators unanimously move to begin developing a framework for determining how much of private utilities’ fire liability costs should be paid by ratepayers. The vote comes amidst ongoing protests by those outraged by the death and destruction caused by wildfires both sparked and possibly sparked by Pacific Gas & Electric. The California Public […]

CPUC Approves $50 Million Energy Efficiency Program Renewal

10 Jan

The California Public Utilities Commission Jan. 10 voted 4-0 for a $52 million extension of the contract with the company that implements the utilities’ marketing and outreach portion of Energy Upgrade California. The program provides small businesses and homeowners with information tools and contacts to improve the energy efficiency of their homes and offices. It […]

Juice: Cost of Living & Technology Challenges Public Purpose Programs

7 Jan

The collapse of a California Public Utilities Commission plan to put a surcharge on text messages to subsidize telecommunications for low-income residents points to a growing problem. Without new approaches, technological changes and California’s high cost of living may soon make it difficult to fund public purpose programs, for energy and climate change as well […]

Climate Roundup: Power Industry Emissions Drop Dramatically

10 Dec

Cleaner power production across the U.S. since 2010 has cut the yearly toll of health and environmental damage from making electricity from $245 billion to $133 billion. Most of the benefits of cleaner power production are enjoyed in eastern states, like West Virginia. The east has seen a reduction in reliance on coal power, as […]