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Renewable Energy Curtailments Rising

14 Aug

The amount of wind and solar energy production in California that is being curtailed has gone up dramatically since 2014, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. Based on California Independent System Operator records, NRDC found there was a 600 percent increase in curtailment in May of this year compared to May of 2014. This […]

Undercurrents

14 Aug

In the wake of the departure of Robert Powelson from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, President Donald Trump has signaled he may nominate Bernard McNamee, head of the Department of Energy’s Office of Policy, to fill the vacancy. McNamee was involved in developing a Department of Energy proposed rule calling for out-of-market payments to coal […]

Major Energy Bills Stall in Sacramento

9 Aug

Legislation that would make major changes to the state’s electricity industry failed to advance this week as lawmakers began to count down the remaining days in this year’s legislative session. One bill stalled on the Assembly floor and two were delayed in legislative appropriations committees where they face an Aug. 17 deadline for approval or […]

The Buzz

19 Jul

The East Bay’s new community choice program adopts a five-year local investment plan that targets local renewable energy, energy efficiency, and electric transportation. In an increasingly rare display of bipartisanship in Washington, members of both parties in the House praise the growing role of energy storage technology during a committee hearing this week. Current’s Juice […]

Power Providers Integrated Resource Plans Due Soon

17 Jul

California’s utilities, community choice aggregators, and energy service providers are to file their first integrated resources plans Aug. 1 with the California Public Utilities Commission. The plans, required by SB 350, are to outline how the power providers will meet the future demand for electricity through 2030, as well as state requirements for increased levels […]

The Buzz

13 Jul

Editor’s Note: California Current will be taking a two-week summer break. The last stories before the break will be posted on July 20. Story posting will resume the week of Aug. 6. State energy regulators belatedly agree to approve Southern California Edison’s 125 MW of energy efficiency, renewables and energy storage agreements to be developed […]

Power Industry Emissions Tumble

12 Jul

California surpassed its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction goal in 2016, according to the California Air Resources Board data  released July 11. The Air Board’s 2016 emissions inventory shows that greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere in California that year totaled 429 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. That was 12 million tons less than […]

The Buzz

6 Jul

It was not just happy 4th of July, but also happy 3rd of July for many. There were mini fireworks after the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee sent the 100 percent clean energy bill to the Assembly Floor. SB 100 sets a 60 renewable mandate for 2030, with another 40 percent to come from big […]

Senate Analysis Sees Legal Risks in Regional Grid

3 Jul

Grid regionalization legislation is advancing through the Legislature despite a bill analysis warning it could pose serious threats to the state’s control over its clean energy laws because of potential federal preemption and conflict. “Given the current administration and its ever-increasing appetite to usurp state control, it would arguably be dangerous policy to enter California […]

Clashing Views on Power Industry Emissions

3 Jul

A legislative hearing on tracking carbon from electrons delivered to Californians quickly turned into a debate about grid regionalization and the impact of community choice aggregators and direct access providers in the state Capitol on July 2. Liane Randolph, California Public Utilities Commission member, said her agency has targeted a reduction of 42 million tons […]

Geothermal Procurement Bill Clears Senate Panel

28 Jun

Legislation to require utilities, community choice aggregators, and energy service providers to purchase more geothermal energy, particularly from new facilities being developed at the Salton Sea, cleared a crucial state Senate committee June 27. The Senate Energy, Utilities, & Communications Committee voted 7-2 to advance AB 893 by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), who represents Imperial […]

Climate Change Roundup: Court Tosses Bay Area Suits Against Oil Firms

26 Jun

Lawsuits brought by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland seeking damages from the oil majors for climate pollution were dismissed June 25 by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The ruling held that greenhouse gas emissions control is a political matter and not one to be decided by a court […]

Grid Regionalization Bill Passes Panel

19 Jun

The most significant energy legislation of the session, which would give the California grid operator the green light to become a regional power market and transmission operator, barely passed out of the Senate Energy Utilities & Communications Committee. AB 813 by Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), chair of the Assembly Energy & Utilities Committee, needed at least […]

CEC Aims for Carbon Emissions Free Buildings

14 Jun

Moving to zero carbon emission buildings in California depends on a few key strategies, a panel of experts told the California Energy Commission June 14. “Decarbonization is really the essence of our energy policy,” said Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister. Yet when it comes to decarbonizing buildings, he said the jury is still out in devising […]

Energy Commission Awards Funding for Clean Energy Projects

13 Jun

The California Energy Commission June 13 voted in favor of more than $28 million in grants to advance microgrids to provide local energy and backup power, increase energy efficiency and increase the sources of clean hydrogen fuel. Approved on a 4-0 vote was a $4 million grant to support building a 5,000 kilogram/per day renewable […]

JUICE: Cruising the Hydrogen Highway

11 Jun

Fuel cell vehicles, powered by hydrogen made from water and renewable power, have long been the Holy Grail when it comes to creating a clean energy economy. After decades of effort to push the technology toward commercial reality, fuel cell vehicles are beginning to gain traction with car-makers, energy companies, state officials, and most importantly […]

FERC Orders PG&E Transmission Settlement

17 May

Federal energy regulators May 17 ordered Pacific Gas & Electric to reach a settlement with eight organizations that complained last year about the utility’s rates for transmitting power. At issue is more than $500 million of potential utility overcharges. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the order without comment as part of its consent calendar […]

CPUC to Develop CA Power Restructuring Plan

3 May

In the midst of related proceedings, California utility regulators called for a statewide conversation about the future structure and regulation of the power industry May 3. They continued to warn about the proliferation of customer-owned solar systems, community choice aggregation, and other developments that threaten to destabilize traditional utilities and electric grid reliability in California. […]

The Buzz

27 Apr

Legislation to raise payments to needed gas power plants in California, to increase the use of home electric air and space heating, and to make school reps eligible for intervenor compensation make the cut. Midweek, the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee sends these measures on to the next committee. Measures to bolster energy storage and […]

Bills Advance to Promote Storage, Green Buses & Hydrogen

26 Apr

The Senate Energy, Utilities, & Communications Committee approved nine energy bills April 25, including measures to require utilities to procure more energy storage and to set rates that encourage electric bus deployment. SB 1347 by Sen. Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park) passed on a 9-1 vote. It would require the California Public Utilities Commission by 2020 […]