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LADWP Solar/Storage Deal Faces Union Opposition

4 Sep

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power’s board next week is expected to take up for a second time a proposed contract negotiated by the muni’s staff for the output of a 375 MW solar plant firmed by a 1,200 MWh battery storage system. However, its biggest union favors rebuilding local gas-fired plants. LADWP […]

Inside the Beltway: Light Bulbs & Cybersecurity

4 Sep

In a strike against supposed elite environmentalism, the Trump Administration Sept. 4 reversed regulations designed to advance the use of LED lighting to specialty bulbs. It also signaled it soon plans to rescind the LED standard for general lighting. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and the Appliance Standards Awareness Project estimate that eliminating […]

Juice: The Summer Crisis That Wasn’t?

3 Sep

Earlier this year, state and federal energy officials were ringing their hands that the summer would bring natural gas and electricity shortages and price spikes in Southern California. The assumed culprit was continued limits on SoCal Gas Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field operations and several pipeline outages in the utility’s system. So far the […]

Central Coast City Moves to Decarbonize New Buildings

3 Sep

Updated Sept. 4. The city of San Luis Obispo the evening of Sept. 3 became the second city in California to move toward decarbonizing buildings. The San Luis Obispo City Council approved an ordinance that will make it more difficult to build new homes and buildings that use natural gas. San Luis Obispo elected officials […]

Climate Roundup: MIT Cites Potential of Carbon Tax

3 Sep

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology report claims a modest $7 a ton carbon tax could reduce greenhouse gas emissions just as much as the various climate change programs put in place by the Obama Administration, which are now being reversed by the Trump White House. The study said that if such a tax was enacted […]

MCE Credit Rating Considered Investment Grade

3 Sep

Marin Clean Energy received its second credit rating to date on Aug. 29—a BBB from Fitch Ratings. Earlier the state’s first community choice aggregator received a Baa2 rating from Moody’s in 2018. Marin Clean Energy Chief Executive Officer Dawn Weisz called the Fitch credit rating “further validation of MCE’s financial structure and California’s community choice […]

12th Solar Project Opens under MCE’s Feed-in Tariff

3 Sep

Marin Clean Energy notched up its support for solar power last week as it began receiving enough electricity for 1,000 homes from the 3 MW American Canyon Solar Project in Napa County. Completion of the facility on Aug. 27 marked the 12th small-scale renewable energy project completed in MCE’s service territory under the community choice […]

The Buzz

29 Aug

A newly amended bill that would make PG&E greener financially at ratepayers’ expense is floated. But, it may be headed for a crash landing. Another legislative action, one seeking a Constitutional Amendment, would make nuclear energy eligible for green status under California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard. The proposal seeks to bolster the financial prospects of the […]

Bill to Boost PG&E’$ Prospects a Lead Balloon?

29 Aug

A recently amended bill that would increase the financial burden on Pacific Gas & Electric ratepayers appears to have fizzled. AB 235 by Assemblymember Chad Mayes (R-Riverside), amended on Aug. 20, was said to allow PG&E to issue up to $20 billion in bonds to cover 2017-18 wildfire claims against the utility. The bonds would […]

Trump Moves to Roll Back Methane Controls

29 Aug

Sen. Dianne Feinstein and others blasted President Donald Trump for weakening rules to control leaks of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. California’s senator called the proposed rollback, “incredibly irresponsible and wrong.”  Feinstein said she plans to challenge the move in the courts or with a Congressional resolution. As expected, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced […]

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 […]

Green Eggs and Nukes

28 Aug

A legislative resolution that would classify nuclear energy as a renewable resource under California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard was introduced Aug. 28. There is only one nuclear plant in the state that would benefit from ACA 18 by Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo): Diablo Canyon. “Without Diablo’s power production, there is no viable path to […]

Ensuring Equity is Part of Decarbonization Work

28 Aug

As energy agencies and stakeholders debate how best to slash and eventually eliminate carbon emissions from buildings a key concern is equity. Specifically at issue is protecting and ensuring that low-income, polluted communities reap gains from funded programs. “As we move away from combustion to reach important public environmental health goals, we have to make […]

Setting a Single Metric for Energy Savings & Decarbonization

28 Aug

Pressure is mounting for energy policy makers to meld building decarbonization and energy efficiency programs and funding to ensure California reaches a zero carbon energy sector by 2045. Part and parcel of that considerable challenge for the California Energy Commission and Public Utilities Commission is whether to substitute a single emissions reduction metric in place […]

Digital Analysis Compares Power Costs

27 Aug

The Natural Resources Defense Council introduced a tool that compares the costs of different sources of electricity in different states across the U.S., ranging from solar power in California to coal-fired generation in Wyoming. “At a time when cities, states, universities, and utilities are considering aggressive climate goals, this knowledge is essential to establishing informed […]

CPUC Zeros In on Rate Hike Impacts on the Poor

26 Aug

Proposed metrics to better represent the hit of rate increases on struggling households was the focus of a California Public Utilities Commission workshop held Aug. 26. The CPUC staff’s draft proposal includes an “ability to pay” metric. This affordability index looks specifically at how much of a low-income household’s income is spent on essential utility […]

Shorts

26 Aug

Updated Aug. 29 Today, clean energy jobs outnumber jobs in the fossil fuel industry in California five to one, a new study has found, according to the San Jose Mercury.  “More than 512,000 people are employed in jobs related to clean energy — from installing solar panels to building electric cars — making the state […]

The Buzz

22 Aug

Possible misuse of funds by SoCal Gas prompts critics to seek a probe and sanctions against the utility. Also, a new coalition forms to counter state efforts to eliminate gas hookups for new buildings. California is progressing well on renewable power, but not as well on reducing fossil fuel reliance, says a new analysis. State […]

CA’s Fossil Fuel Use is Slightly Less than U.S.’s

22 Aug

California may lead the nation when it comes to renewable power, but it’s only slightly ahead when it comes to fossil fuel use. That’s according to an analysis released this month by Beacon Economics. In 2017, 29 percent of the state’s electricity was generated by renewable portfolio standard eligible resources, according to Hoyu Chong, Beacon […]

Probe Sought of SoCal Gas Role in Anti-Building Decarbonization Group

22 Aug

SoCal Gas is in hot water regarding its involvement with Californians for Balanced Energy Solutions. The Sierra Club and others made an issue of the role of George Minter, utility regional vice president, on the organization’s board. In response, the Public Advocates Office last week told the California Public Utilities Commission it should sanction SoCal […]