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Will the Salton Sea Become Lithium Valley?

13 Feb

The California Energy Commission took a deep dive into the potential for extracting lithium from geothermal plants along the Salton Sea during a Feb. 12 symposium at Stanford University. Removing lithium from the mineral rich and very hot brine in this region in Southern California is full of promise because it’s potentially a world-class source […]

Guest Juice: Is CA Trying to Kill the Community-Scale Generation Market?

10 Feb

The community-scale market segment has been plagued by ongoing policy neglect, and otherwise poor policy choices. Will policymakers heed the track record of demonstrated failure and finally create new programs that address previous problems? Ken Lund Flickr cc California, long a progressive leader on renewable energy and climate change mitigation, has neglected a key market […]

Shorts

4 Feb

Unprecedented levels of solar, wind and geothermal power fueled California’s grid last year. That includes renewable resources meeting 80 percent of the peak electricity demand at one point in the afternoon of May 15, the California Independent System Operator reported Feb 3. Renewables also provided nearly 42 percent of peak demand on Aug. 8, providing […]

House Bill Sets Clean Energy High Bar for All 50 States

30 Jan

One day after pitching legislation setting a national carbon neutrality mandate by 2050, House democrats followed it with a $760 billion package backing it. The huge investment proposal would go to modernize aging infrastructure, making it safer and more resilient to climate change. It also would partially fund the carbon neutrality bill. “This bold framework […]

Western Real Time Market Produces $270M in Savings

30 Jan

Participants of the grid operator’s expanding real-time Western Energy Imbalance Market reaped additional economic and environmental benefits. Those include gross benefits of nearly $61 million for the fourth quarter of last year. For all of 2019, it was nearly $270 million. Increased coordination “creates operational savings and greater integration of variable resources to meet the […]

Guest Juice: Energy Storage Prospects Rise with Fall in Renewable Costs

20 Jan

By Wayne Hicks An oft-repeated refrain—the sun doesn’t always shine, and the wind doesn’t always blow—is sometimes seen as an impediment to renewable energy. But it’s also an impetus toward discovering the best ways to store that energy until it’s needed. Declining costs in available technologies have propelled interest in energy storage forward like never […]

Senate Energy Panel Okays Outage Penalties, Rejects Big Hydro as Renewable

15 Jan

Legislation that would impose fines on utilities for unreasonable power outages and require them to compensate businesses and other customers harmed by blackouts passed the Senate Energy Utilities & Communication Committee Jan. 15. Sen. Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco) authored SB 378 because private utility “financial incentives err on the side of blackouts.” Weiner accused utilities […]

Assembly Bills Focus on Wildfire Impacts and Resource Adequacy

14 Jan

Protecting utilities against wildfire liability and customers against the loss of power during safety shutoffs remain top legislative priorities. AB 235 by Assemblymember Chad Mayes (I-Yucca Valley) and two other legislators would allow PG&E to issue bonds to pay for wildfire victim recovery claims after Jan. 2019. This bill, which was carried over from the […]

Back in the Spotlight: Power Outages and Supplies, and the Definition of Renewable

14 Jan

Before lawmakers this session is Senate legislation to make buildings more fire resistant in high risk areas, protect customers during utility power shutoffs, and rework the renewables mandate. A few of these bills will be heard Jan. 15 in the Senate Energy, Utilities & Communication Committee’s first hearing of the year. Three bills seek to […]

CA New Green Deal Pitched

7 Jan

California lawmakers unveiled a state Green New Deal Jan. 6. “Just like with the original New Deal by FDR in 1932 that lifted America out of the Great Depression, we too must now harness all of our people power, political capital and courage to meet today’s greatest challenge—the clear and present danger of climate change,” […]

JUICE: 2020 Energy Trends

7 Jan

Top ticket energy issues in the Golden State this coming year include energy storage, transportation electrification and microgrids. Other key matters are the growing roles of community energy and natural gas bans. The rise in renewable energy and decarbonization efforts in California are the key drivers behind these market transformations. Simultaneously, these efforts to green […]

LADWP Plans to Run Gas Plant on Renewable Hydrogen

10 Dec

Controversy over a Los Angeles Department of Water & Power decision to replace a 1,800 MW coal-fired power plant in Utah with a smaller natural-gas-fired unit may result in an environmentally friendly overhaul.  The muni is considering running the planned combined cycle generating facility with renewable hydrogen. Under a plan discussed by the muni Dec. […]

The Buzz

5 Dec

A carbon tax is the talk of the town this week. Republican members of a House panel insist it would be a cost without a benefit because global action is critical. In response, their Democratic brethren chastise them for not partaking in the ongoing UN climate talks. Solar-powered microgrids paired with battery storage can keep […]

Overlooked Energy Efficiency Gets its Due in Building Decarbonization

4 Dec

The often forgotten middle child of the clean energy family, energy efficiency, shared center stage with other carbon emissions cutting measures targeting California homes and commercial buildings. Energy efficiency has “a lot of ties with decarbonization,” said Commission Andrew McAllister during the CEC’s Dec. 4 workshop on cutting greenhouse gases from buildings 40 percent by […]

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 […]

New Project Ties California & Nevada Closer

26 Nov

Renewable energy can flow more freely and in bigger quantities from Nevada to California with the commissioning earlier this month of GridLiance’s 230-kV Sloan Canyon Switching Station. The facility is approximately 40-miles outside of Las Vegas in Boulder City, Nevada. GridLiance’s Sloan Canyon Switching Station is part of a larger $50 million transmission improvement project […]

House Democrats Seek “Net-Zero” Carbon by 2050

26 Nov

House Democrats last week backed a bill, H.R. 5221, to create a 100 percent clean economy by 2050 with six lawmakers introducing the measure and more than 150 members signing on as co-sponsors. The measure, known as the 100% Clean Economy Act of 2019, directs federal agencies to craft plans to achieve “net-zero climate pollution” […]

The Buzz

21 Nov

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approves the California ISO’s energy storage compliance filing. It also again rejects on a 2-1 vote climate analyses of liquefied natural gas export projects. A U.S. Senate panel calls for the full Senate to approve the Republican FERC nominee. The silence remains deafening on the fate of the Democrats pick, […]

House Grapples w/ Cleaning Poor Polluted Communities

20 Nov

The House Energy & Commerce Committee Nov. 20 focused on how to protect communities struggling with climate and environmental injustices as the nation attempts to reach a 100 percent clean energy economy. “It is an unfortunate, but inescapable, fact that where you live in this country determines the extent of the environmental health risks you […]

FERC Nominee & Clean Energy Bills Advance

19 Nov

The U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee sent its recommended approval of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission nominee James Danly to the full Senate. Danly, a Republican nominee, gained the panel’s backing Nov. 19 on a 12-8 vote. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) who supported Danly, objected again to the White House’s refusal to move on […]