The Buzz

8 Jul 2021

The push to building electrification to slash greenhouse gas emissions is raising concerns that the shrinking base of gas customers will be unfairly burdened with higher utility bills. The issue is the focus of a new U.C. Berkeley Haas School of Business paper. Some question why gas utilities aren’t treated like telecom companies, many of which reformulated when cell phones replaced most land lines without customers being on the hook.

The City of Berkeley’s groundbreaking ban on natural gas use in new buildings is upheld by a federal district court. The California Restaurant Association says it will appeal. Building electrification advocates say the ruling finding Berkeley’s ban does not clash with federal law is good news for the 45 other local restriction on gas use in buildings

A 100 MW/400MWh battery plant went online instead of the earlier planned 262 MW gas Puente Power project. The large Tesla based battery facility near Oxnard is under a long-term contract with Southern California Edison.

Floating wind turbines off of California’s Northern and Central coast get closer to reality with the advancement of legislation directing the California Energy Commission to develop a plan to build an offshore wind industry.  Also advancing are bills to fund low emissions biomass plants and ensure public power agencies get EV chargers installed in their neck of the woods.

Distributed solar advocates worry about getting burned by the California Public Utilities Commission’s updated calculator estimating the cost savings of local rooftop. The 2021 “avoided cost calculator finds a considerable drop in the power system costs avoided by rooftop solar. Solar advocates worry it will be used to undervalue distributed solar in the upcoming net metering update.

And more…

The Editors

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