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Climate Roundup

8 Nov

Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed creating a new international carbon market. In a Nov. 7 address to European Union leaders in Brussels, Brown noted that California recently extended its carbon cap-and-trade program to 2030. “We could explore linking California and the European Union,” he added. He pointed out that the state’s emissions trading program is […]

Effort to Dim Energy Star Faces Stiff Opposition

7 Nov

Proposed federal legislation to overhaul the popular Energy Star program, including cutting consumer protections, faced significant opposition from many lawmakers and industry officials at its first airing. The oft repeated plea during the Nov. 7 hearing by the House Energy & Commerce Energy Subcommittee was not to fix the unbroken voluntary energy efficiency labeling program. […]

Shorts

7 Nov

Coal power production is expected to increase next year largely at the expense of natural gas-fired generation, according to the Energy Information Agency’s short-term energy outlook for the nation released Nov. 7. Gas power production will be about even with coal power next year, with each representing about 31 percent of total power production, EIA […]

Generator Earnings Generally Lower

6 Nov

Independent generator earnings were generally down in the third quarter of 2017, except for bright spots at NextEra and Calpine, with the latter changing hands after ongoing losses. AES, which like most of its generating brethren, is moving to modernize a handful of once-through cooled plants along the Southern California coast, reported a fall in […]

JUICE: Finding the Wind & CPUC Leadership

6 Nov

Ancient Roman philosopher Seneca once observed that “To the person who does not know where he wants to go there is no favorable wind. That is true for California’s utility regulators, who displayed a lack of vision and muddled thinking in two important meetings last week. The first meeting held by the California Public Utilities […]

The Buzz

3 Nov

The former California Public Utilities Commission president is taking a power walk down memory lane.  During a Wednesday talk, Mike Peevey summarized his new book coauthored with Diane Wittenberg detailing how Southern California’s smoggy skies launched the movement to green the state and Peevey’s role. The current CPUC president and commissioners attempt to see through […]

Peevey’s Walk Down Memory Lane

2 Nov

A retrospective of the Golden State’s decades-long trail blazing effort to protect the climate by slashing air pollution and curbing sprawl was presented by California’s former head energy regulator mid-week. If California were a nation, it would rank as the 6th largest economy in the world, but yet it produces just 1 percent of global […]

CPUC Rolls Out CA Power System Resource Plan

2 Nov

The California Public Utilities Commission laid out its goals for the upcoming integrated resource planning process to guide future procurement of power resources towards a lower carbon future. Under the integrated resource planning process, said CPUC staff member Forest Kaser, the reference plan aims to identify the least-cost approach to meeting the state’s 2030 greenhouse […]

CAISO Okays Resource Adequacy Alternatives With Reservations

2 Nov

The grid operator’s board approved two controversial matters aimed at filling in gaps in the resource adequacy market to keep financially struggling generation assets, which are deemed needed in the short-term, online. In spite of significant concerns, the California Independent System Operator Board voted unanimously for a 2018 reliability-must-run contract for Calpine’s 602 MW Metcalf […]

Undercurrents

1 Nov

As cooler temperatures take hold in Southern California, SoCal Gas is warning of energy supply risks in the coming season due to limitations placed on its Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field that reopened earlier this year. SoCal Gas President Bret Lane outlined the concerns in an Oct. 30 letter to the California Energy Commission […]

No Clear Path to More Consumer Choice

1 Nov

California utility regulators ongoing struggle with how to create more customer choice in electricity was not alleviated during a workshop held in the state capital building this week. At the end of the day, few concrete proposals emerged from various industry stakeholders’ differing, but largely piecemeal perspectives. The Oct.31 meeting was the second that the […]

Shorts

1 Nov

Another merchant generator bites the dust. Dynegy, which has suffered a series of losses,  is being bought by a larger Texas company. That company, Vistra Energy, is to pay $2.3 billion in an all stock sale of Dynegy, which owns 27,000 MW of power generation capacity.  The merger “is expected to create the lowest-cost integrated […]

Utility Earnings Up, But SDG&E Takes Hit on Wildfire Costs

1 Nov

Updated Nov. 2 Earnings were up at Edison International and its utility Southern California Edison, as well as at Pacific Gas & Electric and Sempra Energy’s SoCal Gas utility in the third quarter of 2017. However, San Diego Gas & Electric was hampered by a continuing dispute over whether it will be able to recover […]

U.S. Energy Panel Focuses on Growing Building Energy Savings

31 Oct

The U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee stressed the importance of tackling inefficient energy use from the country’s building stock to reduce consumption by 30 percent. During the Oct. 31 hearing, the committee also gave Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal to roll back appliance energy efficiency standards and slash the budget for energy conservation […]

Former Fed Regulators Say Perry Plan is Off Base

31 Oct

Four former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission members criticized Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal to reward coal and nuclear plants in power markets for offering fuel security during a forum an Oct. 31 sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. The commissioners, whose service spanned administrations dating back to President Ronald Reagan, said Perry’s proposal—which […]

Juice: Cutting Off Your Nose to Spite Your Face

31 Oct

The California Public Utilities Commission’s effort to revise the way exit fees are calculated for community choice aggregators is imploding at the outset, as utilities appear to be overplaying their hand rather than owning up to their waning political power. The crux of the proceeding on the fee methodology—known as the power charge indifference adjustment—is […]

The Buzz

27 Oct

While the question of whether or not to regionalize the grid is center stage, the buzz in the wings is increasingly about alternative approaches to creating a more robust western trading market. Juice critiques options for how a western grid could be won. That includes comparing and contrasting a western expansion of the Southwest Power […]

Beyond Grid Regionalization

27 Oct

The public talk about expanding the footprint of California’s grid focuses on going  west-wide, but conversations about alternatives, albeit smaller scale, are growing. There is a range of possibilities for allowing neighboring western states to trade power more fully in and out of California’s wholesale energy trading market and better sharing non-fossil-fueled energy resources to […]

CPUC Continues Annual $13.5 M Negawatt Pilots

26 Oct

California energy regulators voted unanimously to continue funding short-term private utility demand response pilots to boost anemic third-party demand response programs. The pilots “will help shape how we move forward” on third-party programs, said California Public Utilities Commission member Martha Guzman Aceves, who authored the alternate decision approved Oct. 26. She said the goal is […]

CA Lags on Demand Response, Report Finds

26 Oct

California is working to make better use of demand response strategies for meeting peak loads, but the Golden State is hardly a leader in the effort, according to a report released Oct. 25 by the Smart Electric Power Alliance. While the report credited the state’s demand response auction mechanism adopted by the California Public Utilities […]