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Unspent SGIP Funds Redirected to Fire-Prone Areas

12 Sep

State energy regulators approved using $104 million in unspent clean energy incentives to aid struggling ratepayers and critical services providers in areas with high wildfire risks. Of that amount, $100 million is to provide incentives for energy storage system installations that can be used when power from the grid is disrupted. The money from the […]

CEC Okays $95M for Clean Transportation

11 Sep

The California Energy Commission Sept. 12 unanimously approved spending $95.2 million on alternative-fueled vehicles and fueling stations the next year to help the state get closer to becoming a carbon neutral economy by 2045. “We can’t get to our health-based air quality standards, our greenhouse gas reduction goals and carbon light future without this investment […]

The Buzz

29 Aug

A newly amended bill that would make PG&E greener financially at ratepayers’ expense is floated. But, it may be headed for a crash landing. Another legislative action, one seeking a Constitutional Amendment, would make nuclear energy eligible for green status under California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard. The proposal seeks to bolster the financial prospects of the […]

Hydrogen Can Make its Mark in CA’s Energy Market

29 Aug

Renewable hydrogen is expected to play an important role in the Golden State’s decarbonization efforts. It’s potentially a “multi-billion dollar industry in California,” Jeff Reed, U.C. Irvine’s Energy & Power Program chief scientist, told the California Energy Commission. There will be “a sustainable renewable hydrogen market place” by the mid- to late-2020s, said Reed during […]

Ensuring Equity is Part of Decarbonization Work

28 Aug

As energy agencies and stakeholders debate how best to slash and eventually eliminate carbon emissions from buildings a key concern is equity. Specifically at issue is protecting and ensuring that low-income, polluted communities reap gains from funded programs. “As we move away from combustion to reach important public environmental health goals, we have to make […]

CPUC Zeros In on Rate Hike Impacts on the Poor

26 Aug

Proposed metrics to better represent the hit of rate increases on struggling households was the focus of a California Public Utilities Commission workshop held Aug. 26. The CPUC staff’s draft proposal includes an “ability to pay” metric. This affordability index looks specifically at how much of a low-income household’s income is spent on essential utility […]

Picker Bids Adieu, CPUC OKs 10-Year Conservation Targets

15 Aug

This week, President Mike Picker presided over his last California Public Utilities Commission meeting. In response to kudos from fellow commissioners and others for his six years of work at the CPUC, Picker said he does not believe in legacies. “I’m not a judge of what’s right or wrong, but I hope everyone here [at […]

West Coast Utilities Coordinate on Big Truck Electrification

18 Apr

A study on electrifying the 1,350 mile route from Mexico to Canada for medium- and heavy-duty trucks is being launched by a coalition of nearly three dozen West Coast private and public utilities and organizations. The study by this West Coast Clean Transit Corridor Initiative, announced April 18, is to evaluate how, where and the […]

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 […]

Opinionated: Charging With the Sun

19 Mar

By Severin Borenstein You aren’t getting “green electrons”, but charging at the right times still lowers GHG emissions. I spent a fascinating few days at the California Independent System Operator last month, following my appointment in January to the CAISO’s Board of Governors. The most exciting part was getting to visit the CAISO grid control […]

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 […]

The Buzz

21 Feb

The California Public Utilities Commission approves Pacific Gas & Electric’s and Southern California Edison’s $7 billion in energy purchase forecasts. But the approved decision also requires that annual projected power expenses—from renewables to fossil—be compared to the actual tab. State energy regulators unanimously agree to a three-year resource adequacy requirement and to later create a […]

EPIC Program Aims to Get Ahead of Epic Changes

20 Feb

Key focuses of the state program dispensing $162 million a year are advancing innovative clean energy projects in disadvantaged communities and communities with high fire danger. Another top priority of the Electric Program Investment Charge is diversifying energy storage in California to help meet climate protection and renewable targets in a changing environment, said speakers […]

The Buzz

7 Feb

Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric propose strengthening their wildfire risk reduction programs.  SDG&E’s plan is not as dense as the other two mitigation blueprints because it put in place many safety measures after devastating wildfires more than a decade ago. Bankrupt PG&E’s plan stands out. That includes […]

House Climate Change Hearing Calls for Action

7 Feb

A newly configured House Energy & Commerce Committee held its first hearing on the environmental and economic impacts of climate change Feb.6. “We need to modernize and upgrade our infrastructure to ensure vital services like water, sewer, electricity, telecommunications, and transportation are more resilient,” said Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Energy & Commerce Committee chair, during […]

Undercurrents: Drawing the Unaffordable vs. Affordable Rate Line

22 Jan

The California Public Utilities Commission took its first step towards getting its arms around the cumulative impacts of its decisions on financially struggling ratepayers. “There is a lot of stake in this proceeding,” said Cliff Rechtschaffen, presiding commissioner, during the Jan. 22 CPUC workshop. He said at issue are the safety, reliability and affordability of […]

Climate Roundup: CARB Punts on Tropical Forest Offsets

20 Nov

The California Air Resources Board delayed endorsing use of tropical forest offsets for compliance with the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program. In the face of heavy pressure from indigenous groups and some environmentalists during a Nov. 16 hearing on the issue, air regulators decided to postpone a decision on the proposed use of tropical forest offsets […]

Juice: CA Climate Policy Refugees?

19 Nov

California’s master plan for cutting greenhouse gases could be jeopardized by a lawsuit by a civil rights group. The suit filed by a group calling themselves “The Two-Hundred” may soon be heard in a state court in Fresno. The legal challenge filed earlier this year contends the state’s climate policies are heightening inequity. The claim […]

Shorts

18 Nov

Strategies for reducing the number of investor-owned utility power shutoffs are expected to be released next month, said California Public Utilities Commissioner Martha Guzman Aceves. She headed a Nov. 19 workshop as part of the proceeding she is overseeing on how to reduce the number of disconnections and improve reconnections. Disconnections of residential ratepayers gas […]

Undercurrents: No High Use Charge with TOU Rates

13 Nov

The California Public Utilities Commission is moving to default time-of-use rates for residential electricity ratepayers. But one of the catches is that the new default rate to begin next year will eliminate surcharges on energy hogs, according to speakers at the CPUC’s residential rate hearing held Nov. 13. When you take away the high energy […]