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The Buzz

10 Jun

The road to essential carbon neutrality is laden with challenges, requiring more than electrification of vehicles and buildings. Renewable fuels, rates that get EV drivers to charge when the grid is flush, and flexible demand also are key, agency staff say during the first cut of the Air Resources Board’s scoping plan update. It also […]

Latest Carbon-Cutting Blueprint Hashed Out at Public Workshop

10 Jun

Electrifying buildings and transportation won’t get the state to carbon neutrality by 2045, staff from energy and air pollution control agencies said over two days of California Air Resources Board workshops this week. The focus was ARB’s significant update to its long-term plan to avert worsening climate change. There also was general consensus that the […]

The Buzz

3 Jun

The California Public Utilities Commission tightens utility safety protocols to limit the number and reach of shutoffs this year. Regulators hope to avoid a repeat of the widespread problematic shutoffs in 2019. The commissioners also direct the three private utilities to submit annual shutoff reports. The CPUC proposes an additional fine on Pacific Gas & […]

New Energy Commission Report Addresses Emissions from Buildings

1 Jun

Homes and commercial buildings are responsible for one quarter of California’s greenhouse gas emissions. More than half of the carbon is released by appliances, either because they burn gas or are powered by electricity. The rest is from offsite generation to run lights in buildings, and for heating and cooling. Decarbonizing buildings is key to […]

The Buzz

27 May

Clean local microgrid bills keep moving forward in the Legislature. Also continuing to advance is hotly contested legislation that would add significant costs to net metered solar rooftops. But measures to decarbonize state buildings and promote more renewables fizzle. Find out more in the latest legislative roundup. A big gust is propelling offshore wind energy […]

Energy Bill Winners & Losers

27 May

Among the bills moving ahead in the Legislature are ones backing installations of clean microgrids in fire-prone communities and adding fees to net metered small solar rooftops. The key local community microgrid measure is SB 99 by Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa). It would create a grant and technical assistance program at the California Energy Commission […]

House Hearing on Transmission Hits California Live Wires

24 May

Barriers to transmission needed for clean energy growth in California and across the country can be overcome, advocates told the House of Representatives Select Committee on the Climate Crisis May 20. Wildfires and freezes “have left Americans in the dark and in danger just in the last four months,” Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL), the committee […]

The Buzz

13 May

Additional resources give the California Independent System Operator more confidence in this summer’s grid. More than half will come online as the sun sets and air conditioners fire up. The grid operator also points to other resources in the event of intense peak demand if there is another whopper heat wave across the West. The […]

Energy Commission Pumps More Money into Clean Economy

13 May

The California Energy Commission doled out another $39 million in clean energy funding Wednesday, adding to the hundreds of millions of dollars it has approved over the last several years. The largest share of this round of grants, $9 million, went to advance hydrogen fueling of buses. Of that amount, $5 million is to go […]

The Buzz

22 Apr

State regulators green light Pacific Gas & Electric’s whopping $7.5 billion ratepayer-backed bond proposal to cover its 2017 fire liability. The tab soars to $11 million when adding in the interest, which PG&E promises to repay over 30 years but with no guarantees. Consumer advocates are appalled. One calls the decision “reprehensible.” A new issue […]

Building Decarbonization Bills & Proposed Rule Changes Face Headwinds

20 Apr

There is a big push for regulations and legislation to decarbonize buildings in California, largely by replacing fossil fuel use for heating and cooking with electrification. But those efforts face significant opposition from gas utilities and workers unions threatened by the proposed change. Buildings are the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state, […]

The Buzz

8 Apr

A week after a national report found that the City of Los Angeles could be powered fully by renewables by 2035, the City Council gives SoCalGas’ Playa del Rey underground gas storage field the thumbs down. It’s a gesture welcome by clean energy advocates but holds little clout. Environmentalists call on the city council to […]

News Roundup: LA City Council Pressures SoCalGas to Close Playa del Rey Field

8 Apr

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously April 7 to close the Playa del Rey underground natural gas storage facility owned by Southern California Gas. The Playa del Rey field is smaller but considered riskier than the Aliso Canyon gas storage field. The Playa facility, which is near the LA International Airport, is located in […]

The Buzz

18 Mar

The California Public Utilities Commission will vote on an emergency proposal to beef up demand side resources to avert summer blackouts next week. Its energy action this week is limited to okaying Pacific Gas & Electric’s community microgrid program launch. After vigorous sparing, federal regulators approve evaluating a gas project’s greenhouse gas emission impacts for […]

100% Clean Energy Requires Mega Capacity Stretch

16 Mar

Achieving 100% clean electricity in California by 2045 will require a three-fold increase in current installed capacity. It is estimated to cost 6% more than a 60% renewable portfolio standard. That is according to a joint report by the California Public Utilities Commission, California Energy Commission and Air Resources Board. The report estimates an annual […]

Energy Commission Code Update Proposes More Electric Appliances in New Buildings

16 Mar

The latest edition of the California Energy Commission’s influential energy efficiency code does not include a mandate for all-electric new buildings. That is despite a new joint agency report on the path to a 100% clean energy concluding that decarbonizing energy use in new and existing buildings “is a key climate-fighting strategy.” The 2022 Title […]

The Buzz

4 Mar

A California Public Utilities Commission proposal seeks 7,500 MW of additional resources starting in 2024. Of that amount, 2,000 MW would be non-fossil. The resources are to make up for the closing Diablo nuclear plant and old inefficient gas-powered plants. But it is much more than meets the eye. East Bay Community Energy and OhmConnect […]

JUICE: Does Hawaii’s Decoupling of Utility Profit from Investments Offer Lessons for California?

2 Mar

Last week a joint legislative hearing was held on strategies to stem the tide of continually rising utility bills in California. A range of proposals were pitched, from new income-based taxes to covering rising ratepayer costs with the state’s general fund. The hearing was held because there is general agreement that escalating rates threaten equity […]

The Buzz

25 Feb

The 2020 and quarterly earnings of the parent corporations of the four investor-owned utilities are a mixed bag. Annual net income for Edison International and PG&E Corp. drops while fourth quarter earnings rise. Sempra Energy’s reported income goes the opposite direction. While utility leaders sing the praises of increased investments and revenue to analysts, economists, […]

Rising Rates Drown Equity and Decarbonization

25 Feb

The burden of continually rising utility bills will derail California’s decarbonization work if left unaddressed, regulators, economists and ratepayer advocates warn. The rising costs are bearing down on struggling customers who’ve been hit hard by pandemic-driven job losses and sheltering at home. Higher bills undermine California’s equity policy goals and jeopardize the state’s clean energy […]

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