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Doubling Energy Savings Means Focus on Existing Buildings

8 Nov

Without a concerted effort to reduce energy use, particularly in existing buildings and homes, California is likely to fall short of a legislative directive to double energy efficiency by 2030. That’s the conclusion of a California Energy Commission report presented Nov. 8 on how to achieve the efficiency target outlined in SB 350, enacted in […]

Effort to Dim Energy Star Faces Stiff Opposition

7 Nov

Proposed federal legislation to overhaul the popular Energy Star program, including cutting consumer protections, faced significant opposition from many lawmakers and industry officials at its first airing. The oft repeated plea during the Nov. 7 hearing by the House Energy & Commerce Energy Subcommittee was not to fix the unbroken voluntary energy efficiency labeling program. […]

CPUC Rolls Out CA Power System Resource Plan

2 Nov

The California Public Utilities Commission laid out its goals for the upcoming integrated resource planning process to guide future procurement of power resources towards a lower carbon future. Under the integrated resource planning process, said CPUC staff member Forest Kaser, the reference plan aims to identify the least-cost approach to meeting the state’s 2030 greenhouse […]

Undercurrents

1 Nov

As cooler temperatures take hold in Southern California, SoCal Gas is warning of energy supply risks in the coming season due to limitations placed on its Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field that reopened earlier this year. SoCal Gas President Bret Lane outlined the concerns in an Oct. 30 letter to the California Energy Commission […]

Shorts

1 Nov

Another merchant generator bites the dust. Dynegy, which has suffered a series of losses,  is being bought by a larger Texas company. That company, Vistra Energy, is to pay $2.3 billion in an all stock sale of Dynegy, which owns 27,000 MW of power generation capacity.  The merger “is expected to create the lowest-cost integrated […]

U.S. Energy Panel Focuses on Growing Building Energy Savings

31 Oct

The U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee stressed the importance of tackling inefficient energy use from the country’s building stock to reduce consumption by 30 percent. During the Oct. 31 hearing, the committee also gave Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal to roll back appliance energy efficiency standards and slash the budget for energy conservation […]

Former Fed Regulators Say Perry Plan is Off Base

31 Oct

Four former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission members criticized Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal to reward coal and nuclear plants in power markets for offering fuel security during a forum an Oct. 31 sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. The commissioners, whose service spanned administrations dating back to President Ronald Reagan, said Perry’s proposal—which […]

DOE Eyes Roll Back of Appliance Standard

25 Oct

The U.S. Department of Energy is embarking on a bid to change the way it sets energy efficiency standards for some 60 types of appliances to allegedly reduce the regulatory burden on manufacturers. “Through our ongoing efforts,” stated Energy Secretary Rick Perry Oct. 23, “we will promote job creation and economic growth, unleash American energy […]

Brown Wraps Up Bill Signing

16 Oct

Among the last of the energy measures signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on or before the Oct. 15 deadline are ones promoting greater reliance on clean resources to meet power needs in Los Angeles in the wake of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage incident and advance rooftop solar energy systems. Brown signed SB 801 […]

Undercurrents

16 Oct

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry expanded upon his call for new payments to coal and nuclear power plant operators for their fuel secure characteristic during a House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy hearing on Oct. 12. “Thousands of megawatts of fuel-secure generation capacity, including environmentally compliant coal and emission-free nuclear resources, have been prematurely […]

The Buzz

13 Oct

Utility regulators approved $30 million for energy storage facility subsidies in disadvantaged communities, mostly for institutional systems. The California Public Utilities Commission’s former chief administrative law judge is preparing to sue the agency in court on claims of a retaliatory firing after blowing the whistle on alleged collusion by the commission staff with Pacific Gas […]

Shorts

11 Oct

Fires raging in wine country continued to cause extensive power and gas outages on Oct. 12, according to a Pacific Gas & Electric spokesperson. Some 39,000 customers were affected in Santa Rosa and another 4,500 in Napa County. Including other counties affected by wildfires, PG&E had a total of 49,000 customers without service in its […]

Real Time Gas Market Pitched

9 Oct

Creating a natural gas imbalance market in the state is to be explored at the California Energy Commission. Implementing a real time gas market would “transform” the current California market by allowing the price of gas to vary on a “sub-day basis,” Greg Lander, Skipping Stone president, told the commission Oct. 9. He said doing […]

Clean Power Cuts Natural Gas Need

9 Oct

Natural gas usage in California is projected to remain flat or decline slightly with increased energy efficiency and renewable power, according to a California Energy Commission projection shared at an Oct. 9 meeting. Slack demand in California coupled with high levels of gas production likely will result in less need for natural gas storage facilities […]

Puente Project Gets Shot Down

6 Oct

NRG’s construction license application for its 261 MW Puente natural gas-fired project on the beach in Ventura County was blown out of the water Oct. 6. “On the record currently before us, we are unwilling to override the significant impacts or [laws, ordinances, regulations or standards] inconsistencies” posed by the project, states the proposed decision […]

Undercurrents: $1.5 B Electric Vehicle Spending Plan Advances

4 Oct

The California Air Resources Board’s meeting laying a plan to allocate almost $1.5 billion in the coming year to advance electrification of transportation and a variety of mobile equipment used in the freight shipping industry drew a big crowd on Oct. 4. The blueprint includes $663 million of carbon emissions rights auction money raised by […]

Grappling with the Grid’s Horizon

28 Sep

Continuing to lower greenhouse gas emissions and raise California’s renewable standard in a changing electricity sector where utilities are shrinking worries the industry. “Where is the future going?” Ron Nichols, Southern California Edison president asked during the Independent Energy Producers annual conference held earlier this week. He took issue with the state separately pursing climate […]

Regulators Reject Edison’s Ellwood Plant Deal

28 Sep

After almost three years, the California Public Utilities Commission voted to turn down a planned 10-year contract by Southern California Edison to purchase 54 MW of power from NRG’s natural gas-fired Ellwood power plant in Goleta. Instead, the commission Sept. 28 ordered Edison to “to determine whether any identified need can be met in a […]

JUICE: Post Mortem

19 Sep

The most significant state energy bills of the year stopped breathing the final week of this legislative session. Legislation to set a 100 percent carbon free-power mandate for California by 2045, with the last 40 percent from large hydro, failed to come up for a vote before the wee hours of Sept. 16, the session’s […]

Undercurrents: CA Sues Feds for Halting Penalty Increase for Fuel Efficiency Violations

12 Sep

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed suit against the Trump Administration Sept. 11 for delaying a rule increasing the fine on car manufacturers that fail to meet federal fuel efficiency standards. “More fuel-efficient cars on our roads means cleaner air, better overall health for our children, and savings at the pump for consumers,” Becerra said. “We will […]