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House Democrats Push a Carbon Tax

5 Dec

In the midst of the United Nations Climate talks in Madrid, Spain, a House committee explored the appropriate price tag to place on a carbon tax as a means of curbing greenhouse gases. The optimal price was said to range between $25 to $100 per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent. Two of the four professors […]

JUICE: Microgrids Provide Power During Wildfires & Other Emergencies

5 Dec

The head of Pacific Gas & Electric, Bill Johnson, warned that public safety power outages may continue for a decade in areas facing high wildfire risk. It’s been estimated that the power shutoffs in Northern and Central California could cost the state economy about $2 billion. Those impacted are frustrated and so too are policymakers […]

CAISO Report Seeks to Advance Energy Storage

3 Dec

Opportunities and barriers to energy storage deployment in order to green the grid in California and Europe are the focus of a California Independent System Operator report. “Accelerating the spread of energy storage will propel a renewables-based energy system–alongside increased flexibility options and a better use of (existing) infrastructure–and subsequently help reach ambitious Paris Agreement […]

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 […]

Opposition Grows to Converting Utah Plant Serving So Cal to Gas

21 Nov

Clear air advocates Nov. 19 urged the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to put the brakes on a coal to natural gas conversion at the Intermountain Power Project in Utah. Their call occurred the same day that the California Energy Commission revealed that much of state’s gas power plant fleet will remain online […]

Shorts

19 Nov

Updated Nov. 21. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Nov. 21 announced new and upcoming energy infrastructure cybersecurity protections. That includes the creation of both a new physical and cybersecurity group to focus on dam safety and a cybersecurity division within the Office of Electric Reliability. “These efforts will help FERC more efficiently focus its efforts […]

Shorts

13 Nov

Updated Nov. 14. Marin Clean Energy’s latest climate action update shows that 22 of the 34 cities in its territory have opted for 100 percent renewable energy for their public facilities. The report also shows that Marin County now has more electric vehicle charging stations than gas stations. Local Bay Area energy agencies are soliciting […]

PG&E’s in Critical Condition, Earnings Report Warns

7 Nov

Pacific Gas & Electric Nov. 7 reported a whopping and unprecedented loss of $1.62 billion. Its third quarter earnings report, released without the standard accompaniment of a call with financial analysts, also stated that the company’s financial situation is in dire straits and that it faces a very uncertain future. PG&E Corp. and the utility […]

Sempra’s Earnings Jump, Edison’s Fall

6 Nov

California’s investor-owned utilities in the southern half of the state reported solid earnings, with those of San Diego Gas & Electric and SoCal Gas rising significantly. Southern California Edison’s margin dropped, however. Pacific Gas & Electric, with little notice, reported its third quarter net income Nov. 7. Edison International: the utility’s corporate parent saw its net […]

Newsom Names Energy Czar

5 Nov

Gov. Gavin Newsom Nov. 1 appointed California’s third energy czar in the 21st century to address the current energy crisis driven by utility wildfire liability and threats. The appointee is Newsom’s Cabinet Secretary Ana Matosantos. She also served under the Brown and Schwarzenegger gubernatorial administrations. Czarina Matosantos is specifically tasked with ensuring Pacific Gas & […]

Undercurrents: State’s Natural Gas Use to Wane

30 Oct

Within about a decade California can expect natural gas prices to be below those at Henry Hub, a California Energy Commission analysis shows. The hub is the national benchmark for gas prices. The gas price forecast presented Oct. 30 at a commission workshop, attributes the favorable price outlook to increasing supplies, particularly from the Permian […]

The Buzz

24 Oct

Shutoffs and more shutoffs more shutoffs this week because of dangerous winds and fires. Pacific Gas & Electric reports a transmission tower with broken jumper near the latest Sonoma fire. In the midst of blazes, major fire risks and public outrage over outages, regulators approve collecting $10.5 billion from utility ratepayers for a legislatively mandated wildfire […]

House Panel Weighs How to Cut Transportation Emissions

24 Oct

Slashing emissions from ports, trucks and jets requires federal policy changes and financial assistance, lawmakers were told during an Oct. 23 House Environment & Climate Change Subcommittee hearing. The Wednesday hearing examined how these sources of greenhouse gases can be cleaned up to help the U.S. achieve a carbon lite economy by 2050. “Fast, efficient […]

Comparing PG&E & SCE Safety Outages

22 Oct

The state’s two largest investor-owned utilities warned about potential power shutoffs in the face of dry and windy conditions due mid-week. Who ends up getting their power shutoff in Pacific Gas & Electric or Southern California Edison territory is a moving target. It is largely driven by variable weather conditions, but also by the nature […]

San Jose Mulls Taking Over PG&E Wires

22 Oct

San Jose’s new community choice aggregator is following in the footsteps of San Francisco CleanPower by also trying to buy out Pacific Gas & Electric’s equipment in its territory. “There is no formal offer at this time,” said San Jose Clean Energy analyst Jared Sherwood. However, the mayor is interested in exploring a purchase. Last […]

PG&E on Hot Seat over Massive Shutoff’s Costs

21 Oct

During an emergency meeting, state energy regulators and others did not mince words when criticizing Pacific Gas & Electric for the safety, health and financial impacts of its unprecedented Northern California power shutoff in the face of wildfire risks. “You guys failed on so many levels,” Marybel Batjer, California Public Utilities Commission president, told PG&E […]

FERC: No Showstoppers for Winter Energy Supplies

17 Oct

With a warmer than normal winter expected, electricity and natural gas supplies this winter are expected to be both adequate and affordable, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s latest energy market assessment. Natural gas storage levels are at the five-year average level and gas prices are down from last winter. FERC projects a price […]

CPUC Faces Opposition to Protecting Gas Plants

10 Oct

The California Public Utilities Commission was met a by a string of protesters Oct. 10 who objected to the commission’s proposed Integrated Resource Plan to extend the life of aging gas plants. Considering adding three years to the life of seawater-cooled gas power plants, predominantly along the Southern California coast, pays “little regard to the […]

CA’s Carbon Goal Requires Steeper Emissions Cuts, Report Finds

8 Oct

In spite of significant greenhouse gas cuts from California’s electricity sector, the state is expected to fall well short of its 2030 climate protection target. Rising emissions from the transportation and commercial sectors are largely to blame, according to Next 10’s eleventh annual California Green Innovation Index. This updated Index “serves as a wake-up call,” […]

Proposed $65M Fine for PG&E’s Bogus Records Gets Slammed

7 Oct

Pacific Gas & Electric agreed to pay a $65 million fine for falsifying records on the locations of its underground gas and electric pipelines, impacting the safety of excavators in and outside the company. The penalty also is for risks the utility caused by hiding its late responses to excavators’ requests. The Utility Reform Network […]