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Cap-&-Trade Spending Plan Headed for Passage

13 Sep

The fate of a bill to require 100 percent renewable power in California remained uncertain mid-week as the Legislature raced toward a Friday deadline to finish up its business in Sacramento. However, lawmakers and the governor broke a deadlock Sept. 12 that appears to clear the way for a massive spending measure funded by carbon […]

Panel Witnesses Back Carbon Capture Subsidies

13 Sep

Carbon capture and sequestration, including for coal generating plants, continues to face financial and other challenges, according to witnesses at a Sept. 13 U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee hearing. “There is a gap between project costs and market prices and tariffs that prevent private capital from flowing into projects,” said Julio Freidman, chief […]

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 […]

Shorts

11 Sep

Updated Sept. 14 After an almost nine month hiatus, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is fully functional again. FERC Chair Neil Chatterjee earlier this week announced that the commission will again hold monthly meetings beginning next week on Sept. 20.  The commission has not met since early this year after losing a quorum following the […]

CA Exodus from Federal Advisory Roles

6 Sep

California is steadily losing its voice when it comes to federal energy and environmental policy as the Trump Administration either alienates or removes Californians from various advisory committees and delegations in Washington. In the latest move, The Trump Administration notified Carl Zichella Sept. 1 that he would not be reappointed to the Department of Energy’s […]

Sands Run Out on Grid Regionalization

6 Sep

As the Legislature moves toward winding up its session discussions were said to be underway in the Governor’s office about western grid regionalization,but they were not expected to bear fruit. “How often does a legislature get to take action that will reduce voters’ utility bills and improve their air quality with no upfront costs,” Natural […]

The Buzz

31 Aug

A week that began with record heat and a near record demand for power ends even hotter with a forecast of a new all-time record peak demand for electricity in California. The grid operator calls for conservation. PG&E calls for flashlights. Decentralized solar energy coupled with storage and smart controls can lower the cost of […]

Decentralized Solar Posed to Cut Grid Costs, Report Finds

31 Aug

Decentralized solar coupled with onsite battery storage can reduce strain and costs in maintaining the electrical grid, according to a report commissioned by Sonoma Clean Power that was released Aug. 31. Dubbed “Solar+,” the report said that sufficiently-sized solar systems coupled with storage on a decentralized basis also can serve new power demand as people […]

Climate Roundup: Utilities Busy Building Climate Resilience

30 Aug

California’s major utilities are taking a variety of steps to help their service territories adapt to global warming. Climate resiliency efforts range from outfitting homes with better air conditioning systems, and other efficient features, to planting trees to shade homes and reduce the urban heat island effect. Southern California Edison has developed a climate vulnerability […]

Utilities Benefit from New Climate Prediction Tools

29 Aug

Climate change is affecting energy utilities in a wide variety of ways and the pace of change is expected to quicken in the years ahead. However, utilities are beginning to benefit from new predictive tools the state has developed to help them plan future facilities that are adapted to a warmer climate. “It’s incumbent on […]

The Buzz

25 Aug

State utility regulators okayed a shift in the peak pricing period to later in the day for San Diego Gas & Electric customers. Industry advocates warn it erodes the economic advantages of rooftop solar. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry gets an education about how the grid operates. A Department of Energy staff report he requested […]

Climate Roundup: Report Cites Rising Greenhouse Gases from Transportation

22 Aug

Greenhouse gas pollution from cars, trucks and other motor vehicles rose in California, slowing the drop in overall emissions. “On an absolute basis, California’s total GHG emissions fell only slightly in 2015, down 0.34 percent from 2014,” according to a new report, California Green Innovation Index, released by Next 10 Aug. 22. Transportation-related greenhouse gases […]

Juice: While We Were Gone

21 Aug

No big breaking energy news occurred during our brief summer hiatus, but there were notable energy-related developments, including the release of cost estimates of using alternative clean energy resources in place of the Puente gas power project, a restart of the controversial Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste dump license proceeding, and a push by Southern […]

LADWP Moves Forward on Energy Storage

21 Aug

The nation’s largest municipal power utility committed to connecting 178 MW of electricity storage projects to its system over the next five years. The first project is a 20 MW battery system that will store excess power produced by major solar and wind projects in the Mojave Desert. Acting Aug. 16, the Los Angeles Department […]

Climate Roundup: Tar Sands Fuel Protest in Richmond

1 Aug

Protestors July 31 blockaded an oil terminal in Richmond along San Francisco Bay because it’s expected to receive Canadian tar sands. “This is the second week in a row that activists are blockading this facility — and you can expect protests up and down the West Coast as banks and oil companies continue to try […]

JUICE: Infrastructure Must Be Adapted to Changing Climate

1 Aug

Now that California has reauthorized its carbon cap-and-trade program and Gov. Jerry Brown has engraved his legacy as the nation’s global warming fighter in chief, it’s time for a sober moment after last week’s celebrations. Catastrophic warming—and all it entails—is happening faster than projected just a few years ago. It can’t be halted, even if […]

Spending Plans Propel Electric Transportation

31 Jul

Big money is flowing into electric vehicles in California following two actions late last week. One took place in Sacramento and the other in Los Angeles. The California Air Resources Board July 27 approved the first part of a four-part spending plan on electric vehicles and vehicle charging stations by Volkswagen. The automaker’s subsidiary, Electrify […]

Shorts

31 Jul

The western Energy Imbalance Market produced $39.52 million in benefits in the second quarter of 2017 for the market participants, the grid operator reported July 31. Total benefits since the California Independent System Operator launched the EIM with PacifiCorp in 2014 were $213.24 million, with carbon emissions reductions of 28,700 metric tons from using 67,055 […]

The Buzz

28 Jul

The California Independent System Operator seeks to widen the route to the state’s wholesale electricity market for demand response. Microgrids promise benefits, but first the California Energy Commission says numerous speed bumps must be removed to make them more commonplace. The grid operator seeks to head off the potential for sudden loss of large amounts […]

Climate Roundup: Air Board Adopts Rules to Extend Cap & Trade Program

27 Jul

The California Air Resources Board July 27 adopted amendments to its carbon cap-and-trade rules to extend the emissions trading program beyond 2020, allow the state’s carbon market to link to a carbon market in Ontario, Canada, and improve oversight of the market. The board also promised to begin a rulemaking before the end of the […]