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News Analysis: As PG&E Retreats Others Fill the Void

19 Aug

By Fereidoon P. Sioshansi To avoid wildfire lawsuits utilities are driving customers to self-generation and storage. For the second time in its long history, Pacific Gas & Electric, California’s biggest investor-owned utility, is under bankruptcy protection. Both times, you might say, the company fell on hard times not because of what it did but because […]

Juice: Arnold’s Lasting Legacy

24 Apr

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Cal-EPA Secretary strolled down memory lane on Earth Day 2019 to assess the former governor’s chief achievements on clean energy and the environment. In a keynote address at the California Institute of Technology’s Earth Day program, Terry Tamminen breezed over what most Californians might think was Schwarzenegger’s key legacy, namely carbon […]

Bill Bolstering Distributed Resources Advances

10 Apr

Legislation to promote distributed generation and battery storage with more favorable tariffs and grid interconnection process streamlining advanced through the Senate Energy, Utilities, & Communications Committee April 10. It was approved despite opposition from public and investor-owned utilities. The panel also approved two bills aimed at minimizing wildfire risk from power lines. SB 288 cleared […]


26 Nov

The Bonneville Power Administration expects to decide by next fall whether or not to join the Energy Imbalance Market. In a presentation to the market’s governing board on Nov. 29, the administration said it expects to make a decision by late summer of 2019 and finalize a participation agreement in September. If it does decide […]

Undercurrents: Renewable Gas Flows, Hydrogen Supply Doesn’t

17 Sep

Renewable natural gas will begin flowing soon at 25 natural gas vehicle fueling stations owned by SoCal Gas, as well as at six fueling stations in the San Diego area. Renewable gas consists of methane generated in landfills, wastewater treatment plants, food processing, and dairies. Capturing it and using it as fuel for vehicles, power […]

JUICE: Cruising the Hydrogen Highway

11 Jun

Fuel cell vehicles, powered by hydrogen made from water and renewable power, have long been the Holy Grail when it comes to creating a clean energy economy. After decades of effort to push the technology toward commercial reality, fuel cell vehicles are beginning to gain traction with car-makers, energy companies, state officials, and most importantly […]


30 May

The state Senate passed two energy bills May 29. One seeks to use excess renewable energy to create hydrogen and the other to provide funds to fill the local financial gap that will accompany closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in San Luis Obispo. Lawmakers approved SB 1369 by Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), which […]

Low Carbon Transportation Cuts Rile Clean Vehicle Advocates

15 Mar

The governor’s proposed $435 million budget for the California Air Resources Board’s low carbon transportation program was criticized for reducing funding for low and zero emissions heavy-duty trucks and for lacking parity of funding between electric and hydrogen powered vehicles. The proposed 2018-19 budget is below the current budget of $560 million. “We are on […]


13 Feb

Updated Feb. 15. The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is purchasing biomass power from the American Renewable Power-Loyalton Biomass project in Sierra County. LADWP will get 8.9 MW of biomass energy from American Renewable for five years under the deal at a cost of $97.50 per MWh. The deal helps satisfy an obligation […]

Chatterjee Cites FERC Independence on Perry’s Proposal

16 Nov

Neil Chatterjee chaired his last meeting at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Nov. 16 after saying in a recent series of interviews that FERC is required by law to act on Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal to prop up coal and nuclear power plants with additional payments in wholesale electricity markets. Chatterjee, who will continue […]

Sen. Panel Passes Trio of Bills

6 Jun

Three Assembly energy measures that just passed out of that lower chamber were approved by the Senate Energy Utilities & Communications Committee. Legislation to extend the solar thermal subsidy, broaden the reach of the fuel cell subsidy program and exempt rural electric cooperatives from integrated resource planning requirements were sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee […]


3 Nov

Bloom Energy has sold fuel cells with 50 MW of capacity to Southern Co., the two businesses revealed Oct. 25. Bloom Energy of Sunnyvale, CA, will provide the fuel cells, which will be installed behind the meter at Home Depot stores and healthcare facilities, under a long-term power purchase agreement with Southern Co. subsidiary PowerSecure. […]

Climate Roundup: Private Utilities Tout Renewable Gas Opportunities

6 Nov

As the California Air Resources Board begins to develop a concrete plan for cutting greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent from their 1990 level by 2030, three major utilities are pitching the promise of renewable natural gas, as well as power to gas, technologies. (more…)

JUICE: Fuel Cell Fugue

14 May

As California strives to green its grid and reduce greenhouse gases from the energy sector, fuel cells are moving out of the wings, particularly as California’s water resources become more limited. (more…)

Juice: Mother of Energy Inventions

3 Apr

Passage of this season’s big bold energy bills to set a 50 percent renewable requirement and cut gasoline use in cars by half, both which go hand in hand with the measure mandating a decrease in greenhouse gases to 80 percent below 1990 levels, is critical to our future. (more…)

California Ranks First in Advanced Energy Employment

5 Dec

Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) released the first California Advanced Energy Employment Survey, showing more than 430,000 people at over 4,000 firms work in the advanced energy economy today. Also, recently the UC Berkeley Don Vial Center on the Green Economy focused on the solar industry, showing that California’s strong state policies combined with federal incentives have positioned the state […]

COGito…..NEM and Transactive Energy – A New Utility Paradigm

20 Oct

Analysis and Insights by Fereidoon P. Sioshansi, Ph.D., President, Menlo Energy Economics Solar vs. Non-solar Customers The answer is outside the proverbial box The power industry is undergoing significant change at an accelerated rate. This means that many of the concepts that traditionally made perfect sense, no longer do. Moving forward, many of the time-tested principles […]

Risky Business Report Highlights Economic Damage from Climate Change

5 Jul

This week the unusual bipartisan coalition of business and political leaders known as the Risky Business Project released “Risky Business – The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States.” The analysis uses a standard risk-assessment approach to determine the range of potential consequences for each region of the U.S.—as well as for selected […]

Tom Steyer, Climate Activist, to Inject $100 Million into 2014 Campaigns

20 Feb

Tom Steyer, best known to readers of COG as the principal financial supporter of California’s 2012 Proposition 39, is planning to inject $100 million into the 2014 election cycle, reported the New York Times. (more…)

Zucchini Anyone?

20 Nov

A few of the articles selected for the “Press Releases Plus” section of this COG Update may leave the reader with a vague sense of something generally good happening in some specific situation, but let’s connect some of the dots. Let’s start with Professor Borenstein’s November 12th post in the Energy Economics Exchange, which is […]