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Fed Carbon Neutrality Bill Accompanies House Hearing on Wildfires & Power

28 Jan

House Democrats formally introduced legislation to make the United States climate neutral by 2045 the same day as a committee hearing on strategies for reducing wildfire threats, including those sparked by utility equipment. Rep. Frank Pallone, House Energy & Commerce Committee Chair, warned of climate disruption exacerbated wildfires, and highlighted the Jan. 28 launch of […]

The Buzz

24 Jan

FERC member Bernard McNamee bids adieu to the agency. Whether to allow coastal power plants that use huge quantities of water to cool down is still at issue. Center stage are proposed extensions of the legal deadlines, set in 2010, for four plants along the Southern California coast. Under an agreement between Pacific Gas & […]

CA Agencies Work to Fuel Large Vehicles with Clean Hydrogen

21 Jan

State energy and air pollution regulators’ efforts to make California carbon neutral by mid century include support for new and emerging sources of renewable hydrogen to fuel vehicles, large and small, private and public. The California Air Resources Board mandated in 2018 that all public transit bus fleets in California be zero-emission by 2040. Fuel […]

CEC Aims to Bolster Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Electric Cars

21 Jan

To help California meet its mandate that 60% of state electricity resources be from renewable energy by 2030, and be 100% carbon-free 15 years later, a diversity of clean power products is being pursued. That includes renewable hydrogen. Solar power, wind power, geothermal, biogas and energy storage are expected to be part of the renewable […]

Guest Juice: Energy Storage Prospects Rise with Fall in Renewable Costs

20 Jan

By Wayne Hicks An oft-repeated refrain—the sun doesn’t always shine, and the wind doesn’t always blow—is sometimes seen as an impediment to renewable energy. But it’s also an impetus toward discovering the best ways to store that energy until it’s needed. Declining costs in available technologies have propelled interest in energy storage forward like never […]

Beyond Lithium Ion Storage

7 Jan

The California Energy Commission seeks to ramp up emerging storage technologies, expanding the non-lithium ion energy storage field. It is currently offering $9 million in competitive grants for technologies other than lithium ion batteries. The Commission is already evaluating eight to ten non-lithium ion storage technologies and hopes to see new ones emerge from its […]

LADWP Plans to Run Gas Plant on Renewable Hydrogen

10 Dec

Controversy over a Los Angeles Department of Water & Power decision to replace a 1,800 MW coal-fired power plant in Utah with a smaller natural-gas-fired unit may result in an environmentally friendly overhaul.  The muni is considering running the planned combined cycle generating facility with renewable hydrogen. Under a plan discussed by the muni Dec. […]

Pot Farms Burn the Midnight Oil, CEC Finds

2 Dec

Cannabis cultivation is and will continue to drive up electricity consumption in California. It is expected to add 1,600 GWh of new load over the next decade, according to the California Energy Commission. Demand from pot growth, largely energy-intensive indoor cultivation, is estimated to increase energy use in Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California […]

Renewable Hydrogen Said Key to Carbon Free Future

31 Oct

Renewable hydrogen—made from water in electrolysis units run on excess solar and wind power or from renewable natural gas produced at dairies, landfills, and sewage treatment plants—will be needed to fully decarbonize the state’s economy, say hydrogen energy proponents. During an Oct. 31 online discussion organized by the California Hydrogen Business Council, hydrogen companies and […]

Juice: Out of the Ash a Green New Deal Must Rise

29 Oct

California’s energy and environmental goals took the one two punch this month. Only a Green New Deal may be able to repair the damage. First, it was another round of widespread public safety power shutoffs and devastating wildfires in Northern and Southern California. Left in their wake is rotten food, lost business sales, lost paychecks […]

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 […]

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 […]

Shorts

16 Jul

Updated July 18. The California Energy Commission’s clean transportation program to date has provided $830 million in funding, with most of the money targeted at advancing the use of electric vehicles, according to a summary presented at a commission meeting on the program’s accomplishments July 18. In the clean vehicle infrastructure area, CEC has provided […]

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 […]

Electrification v. Renewable Gas

9 Apr

As state energy officials begin to develop a strategy to decarbonize buildings, they face sharply competing interests. Some favor renewable powered electrification, while others advocate filling existing gas pipelines with renewable natural gas and hydrogen to get the job done. State Sen. Henry Stern (D-Thousand Oaks) acknowledged the “tension,” but stressed that ultimately affordability will […]

Assembly Panel Okays Bills on Power Shutoff Rules & Unions

3 Apr

Legislation tweaking energy rules and policies, including setting deenergization protocols and prohibiting utilities from using ratepayer funds to deter workers from unionizing, passed out of the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee April 3. AB 868 by Assemblymember Frank Bigelow (R-Placerville) requires that private and public utilities develop criteria specifying when and how they will stop […]

Shorts

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: 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 […]

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 […]