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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Newsom Acts on Last Round of Energy Bills

14 Oct

California may soon have smart appliances that can be automatically turned off and on by energy companies to match their electricity use with power availability and price under a bill signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom. “SB 49 will help bring California’s electrical grid into the 21st century and allow us to use our […]

Coalition Fights Back on Building Decarbonization

20 Aug

Opponents of the drive to electrify buildings and end the use of natural gas for space and water heating and cooking rallied at the state capitol Aug. 20. They called on Gov. Gavin Newsom to support what they called “affordable clean energy solutions” instead of driving toward “all-electric” buildings. “California is in the middle of […]

Shorts

13 Aug

Pacific Gas & Electric appointed a new utility chief executive officer and president. Andrew Vesey was selected to head the bankrupt utility, PG&E announced Aug. 13. Vesey was the managing director and chief executive officer of AGL Energy in Australia from 2015 to 2018. The prior 11 years, he served as AES Corp.’s chief executive […]

Dairy Biogas Project Begins Delivering RNG

8 Aug

Calgren late last month finished work on the largest dairy biogas operation in the nation and will begin supplying SoCal Gas with renewable natural gas to help fill its pipelines later this year. At its new facility in Pixley in Tulare County, Calgren began collecting and gasifying manure from four dairies and plans to expand […]

Undercurrents: Trump Pulls Plug on Clean Power Plan

19 Jun

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed a final rule on June 19 to repeal the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan. “Americans want reliable energy that they can afford,” said Wheeler at a news conference to announce the action. It will take effect as soon as the rule is published in the Federal Register. […]

Shorts

13 Jun

The Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee backed extending the time renewable gas projects can tap into state incentives covering 50 percent of their interconnection costs this week. On a 14-0 vote, the panel approved SB 547 by Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego). The bill extends by five years to Dec, 31, 2026, the date by […]

All-Electric Buildings Raise Rates

6 Jun

As California pursues a strategy to phase out the use of natural gas for heating space and water, cooking and other uses it will have to develop a transition plan to prevent remaining gas customers from rate shock. That’s according to a new study conducted for the California Energy Commission. “This has big implications for […]

CPUC Changes Biomethane & DER Cost Effectiveness Rules

16 May

During state energy regulators’ business meeting, held in Oxnard this week, they adopted changes to safety standards for biomethane put into utility pipelines. The changes are in accordance with recommendations made by the California Council on Science & Technology. The changes, approved May 16 by the California Public Utilities Commission include: Lowering the heating value […]

Juice: Organic Waste & Renewable Natural Gas

7 May

California’s energy sector could be significantly impacted by a pending regulatory proposal by the state’s solid waste agency. At issue is CalRecycle’s proposal calling for reducing emissions of short-lived climate pollutants under a law enacted in 2016. CalRecycle’s regulations are aimed at cutting fugitive methane emissions from landfills in California caused when yard and food […]

Shorts

6 May

Updated May 9. Renewable energy continued to grow as a source of electricity in California and its price continued to fall in 2018, according to a report by the California Public Utilities Commission released May 8. Among the state’s large investor-owned utilities, the level of renewable power increased from 36 percent to 40 percent from […]

Alternative Energy Bills Go Forward

2 Apr

The Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee approved a small number of bills April 2, including ones to increase the savings of utility energy efficiency programs and expand fuels that can be used in qualifying biomass plants. The approved measures include SB 524 by Sen. Henry Stern (D-Calabasas). It seeks to increase the energy savings […]

Coalition Fights Phase Down of Natural Gas

27 Mar

As California energy policymakers look to eliminate use of natural gas in buildings and phase out gas power plants, the natural gas industry signaled this week it won’t go down quietly. A recently formed coalition—which includes SoCal Gas, homebuilders, businesses, farmers, ministers, and others—on March 25 called on state agencies and leaders to “adopt balanced […]

Shorts

6 Mar

SoCalGas announced it would replace 20 percent of its natural gas supply with renewable gas by 2030. “Our vision is to become the cleanest natural gas utility in North America, delivering affordable and increasingly renewable energy to our customers,” said Bret Lane, SoCal Gas chief executive officer, March 6. Natural gas produced from food waste, […]

Brown Signs SB 901 & Bills Impacting Energy Sector

24 Sep

A new state law allows utilities to borrow money through bonds to cover uninsured wildfire costs subject to California Public Utilities Commission review. The new law, SB 901, also authorizes spending $200 million a year from state carbon cap-and-trade revenue for the next five years to reduce wildfire fuel by thinning forests and conducting controlled […]

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 […]

The Buzz

28 Jun

The big squeeze from a duo of powerful hedge funds leads Sempra Energy to sell off all of its green portfolio and some of its gas assets. More significantly, this is just the first round of spin offs. A proposed CPUC settlement would reduce ratepayers’ share of the closure costs of San Onofre Nuclear Generating […]

Assembly Panel Backs Senate Energy Bills

26 Jun

A controversial measure to require California natural gas utilities to purchase biomethane gained ground June 25, narrowly passing out of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on a 6-1 vote. SB 1440 by Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) would require the state’s gas utilities to enter contracts for a minimum of ten years by 2020 for […]