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ISO Symposium Focuses on the Future

18 Oct

California’s grid operator during its annual stakeholder symposium in Sacramento envisioned a future filled with super-efficient autonomous electric vehicles, commonplace energy storage systems, an integrated western grid, and the chance that energy technologies yet unimagined will emerge. Speakers at the two-day California Independent System Operator meeting Oct. 17 and 18 also discussed how a rapidly […]

Climate Roundup: SMUD Back$ All Electric Homes

10 Oct

A major municipal utility and homebuilder announced Oct. 10 that all electric homes are now for sale in a new housing tract in the Sacramento area. The 104 homes will help cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, which incentivized the D.R. Horton-built homes in North Natomas. SMUD provided $466,000 of […]

JUICE: Adequate Adaptation

9 Oct

In spite of his climate protection mantle, Gov. Jerry Brown has faced protests over his support of the fossil fuel industry, particularly his reluctance to ban fracking and impose a severance tax on oil and natural gas extraction from state lands. Grassroots criticism of Brown’s inaction on curbing polluting transportation fuels, despite his embrace of […]

Newsom & Cox Clash on Energy & Climate Change

9 Oct

Gubernatorial candidates Gavin Newsom and John Cox squared off Oct. 8 in a debate on KQED, clashing over energy and climate policy. Cox, the Republican champion, emphasized the need to pursue “affordable” energy and climate change policies. Newsom endorsed the Gov. Jerry Brown’s current direction, which he said is creating new job opportunities and “green […]

The Buzz

4 Oct

California’s big three investor-owned energy utilities are hit with credit downgrades. Their borrowing pains would be a lot higher but for enactment of SB 901. In spite of all the pro-electric vehicle effort and rhetoric in the state, the California Energy Commission slashes its spending plan for its Alternative & Renewable Fuel & Vehicle Technology […]

Undercurrents: CEC Funding Falls for Emissions-Free Vehicles

4 Oct

As California strives to shift cars and other vehicles to electric and other greenhouse gas free or low emissions technologies, funding from a key California Energy Commission incentive program was cut. The Energy Commission adopted a $165.2 million 2018-19 spending plan for its Alternative & Renewable Fuel & Vehicle Technology Program Oct. 3. The allocation […]

Utilities, Car Makers & Regulators Launch EV Campaign

3 Oct

A private-public partnership on Oct. 3 announced its effort to create a $4 million public awareness campaign to promote the purchase of electric vehicles up and down the state. “The goal is for electric cars to become the new normal,” said Josh Boone, head of Veloz, the new coalition of automakers, utilities, the California Air […]

Climate Roundup: CARB Defends Against Trump’s Auto Standard Rollback

1 Oct

The California Air Resources Board amended its clean car standards Sept. 28 to protect the state against the Trump administration’s proposed rollback of federal auto standards. It did so by affirming what is known as the “deemed to comply” provision of California’s greenhouse gas vehicle regulation. “Today’s vote by the board ensures that California and […]

Undercurrents: Community Solar, EV Charging Advance

27 Sep

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is rolling out a shared solar program. Under it, apartment and other multi-unit home dwellers who cannot install solar systems on their own roofs can opt for solar power produced by dedicated solar facilities. Community organizations will help enroll muni customers, who will pay 17.4 cents per […]

Climate Roundup: State Decries Auto Rule Rollback

24 Sep

California officials blasted the Trump Administration’s plan to freeze automotive greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards set under President Barack Obama during a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency public hearing on the proposal in Fresno Sept. 24. “For most of us, this is an issue about leaning forward, not backsliding,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. […]

New Low Emissions Building Incentive Program Is Among Bills Brown Signs

14 Sep

Updated Sept. 19, 2018. Putting his pen where his mouth is, outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown signed numerous bills during the Global Climate Action Summit Sept. 13 that seek to slash greenhouse gases in the state from transportation, buildings and natural gas use. Many, however, are little more than symbolic measures, including codifying existing practices. The […]

EV Grid Integration Effort Focuses on Trucks & Low-Income Areas

6 Sep

Prioritizing strategies to optimize energy flows between the grid and electric vehicles—large and small—took a small step forward this week during a public hearing on how to reduce barriers to emerging technologies. California’s goal is to have 5 million electric cars, trucks and buses on state roads by 2030 to curb carbon emissions from the […]

CAISO Encourages Storage & Demand Response

5 Sep

The grid operator’s board Sept. 5 approved rule changes aimed at promoting greater participation in its wholesale power market by providers of energy storage and distributed energy resources, including demand response, to cut load when power demand peaks on the grid. In a separate action, the California Independent System Operator’s board also voted to extend […]

Two Dozen Senate Energy Bills Sent to Governor

4 Sep

Gov. Jerry Brown has to decide if a number of bills should become law, including Senate measures to increase direct access for businesses, overhaul utility energy efficiency programs, increase mandated energy storage levels, and create new incentives for near zero emissions space and water heating in buildings. Brown also has to decide whether to sign […]

Bills Bolster Private Utilities’ Bottom Line & Building Emission Cuts

4 Sep

In a last-minute rewrite with minimal transparency, lawmakers passed a bill shielding Pacific Gas & Electric shareholders from massive wildfire liability but lacked similar gusto to pass legislation allowing for a regionalization of California’s electric grid. The grid regionalization bill, the two-year AB 813, remained stuck in the Rules Committee throughout the final two weeks […]

OPINIONATED: Oil vs. Electricity?

4 Sep

By Fereidoon Sioshansi Oil vs. electricity is an odd comparison. The two are separate and unrelated forms of energy–with the possible exception of a few places where oil is still burned to generate electricity, such as in Saudi Arabia. While most people acknowledge the disproportionate dominance of oil relative to electricity in terms of supplying […]

SB 100 Heads to Governor’s Desk

29 Aug

Updated Aug. 30, 2018. Sen. Kevin De León’s bill to require 100 percent clean power in California by 2045 passed the Assembly 44-33 in the early evening of Aug. 28. The next day, the state Senate concurred on a 25-13 vote with the amended Assembly version of the measure. The bill, SB 100, now goes […]

New EV Charger Law, Diablo Funding Bill Goes to Gov’s Desk

21 Aug

Legislation to backfill funding for the community that’s home to the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant after it closes in 2025 has been sent to Gov. Jerry Brown to sign into law. The measure also restores funds for employees who will lose their jobs when the plant closes. SB 1090 by Sen. Bill Monning (D-San […]

Shorts

13 Aug

A food delivery company is shifting its heavy-duty truck fleet to run on natural gas supplied by SoCal Gas. Eleven new natural gas big rigs went into service Aug. 14 with the help of $1.1 million in grant funding from the Proposition 1B program administered by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and […]

The Buzz

10 Aug

A legislative conference committee working to address wildfire safety and liability standards for utilities faces major opposition. The big kahuna is who gets slammed with the multi-billion tab for harm from utility equipment-sparked blazes. Major energy legislation to create a regionalized grid, move to 100 percent carbon-free power, and open up direct access to all […]