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The Buzz

24 Jun

State utility regulators work through a packed agenda, with approval of Pacific Gas & Electric’s $1.2 billion ratepayer-funded bond to cover wildfire costs getting a silent okay, being folded into the California Public Utilities Commission’s consent agenda. Getting public attention at this week’s CPUC meeting are its unanimous approval of an unprecedented mandate for 11,5000 […]

Struggling Communities Land $20M for Emissions-Free Transportation

24 Jun

Local clean energy transportation projects in 21 polluted, disadvantaged communities across the state were awarded $20 million in grants June 23. The money comes from the California Air Resources Board’s carbon cap-and-trade program and will fund projects ranging from zero emissions shuttles to bike sharing. “These funds directly support disadvantaged communities and communities of color […]

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 […]

The Buzz

21 May

State regulators require the private utilities to offer to sell renewable portfolio resources to community energy and other providers. Each aggregator and other entity will be offered a proportional share of the resources bought by the utility for its ratepayers that later joined a non utility. But the California Public Utilities Commission 5-0 vote declines […]

Energy Commission Gets Unprecedented Boost in Funding

19 May

The California Energy Commission will see a 140% increase in its budget, from some $996 million to $2.4 billion, if lawmakers sign off on the Governor’s May budget revisions. Adding in federal funds and reimbursements, the agency could receive even more. The big expenditure items are for light- to heavy-duty zero emission infrastructure. The increase […]

Massive New Investment in Clean Energy in Governor’s Budget

18 May

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s newest proposed budget directs billions of dollars of surplus state funds and federal Covid relief to ameliorating the climate crisis. The May revision of the 2021-22 budget proposal provides nearly $1.8 billion for zero emission transportation. There also is $900 million for renewables and other clean energy investments. Funded areas include: Long […]

Shorts

26 Apr

The SMUD Board adopted a plan the evening of April 27 to have the utility be carbon neutral by the end of this decade. “Sacramento consistently ranks as one of the dirtiest air basins in the country and it disproportionately impacts our most disadvantaged residents,” said Board President Nancy Bui-Thompson. The Sacramento utility plans to […]

Cool Roofs for Dummies

8 Apr

Cool roofs use light-reflecting roofing materials or coatings and are a simple and accessible means for individuals and communities to directly reduce carbon emissions, energy costs, and urban heat island effects.  Source: Owens Corning cool roof Project Drawdown, a global effort to drawdown carbon emissions, estimates that cool roofs, along with green roofs (where roofs […]

CPUC Summer Demand Side Decision Cuts Back on Fossil Power

25 Mar

The California Public Utilities Commission March 25 unanimously approved a revised emergency resource plan for the private utilities for the next two summers. Unlike the initial proposal, this new decision prohibits using increased gas generation from plants with existing contracts and from revived plants to meet high demand. Many clean air advocates were pleased by […]

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 […]

Bills to Promote Green Hydrogen and Large Customer Demand Response Advance

16 Mar

A handful of measures passed out of the key Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee March 15. One expands the definition of green hydrogen; one adds statutory protections to a demand response program that pays commercial and industrial customers to shed load, and the third seeks to increase poor communities’ access to distributed resources. SB […]

Shorts

2 Mar

The Department of Water Resources’ March 2 snow survey found that California’s snowpack was below average. Overall, it’s 61% of the average for this time of year, and 86% of the average at Phillips Station in South Lake Tahoe. At the latter station, a snow depth of 56 inches was measured with a snow water […]

Poor Carbon Accounting at CARB

1 Mar

The California Air Resources Board has failed to adequately measure whether its programs to reduce transportation emissions in disadvantaged communities are working, the State Auditor warned last week. The pollution agency overstated greenhouse gas emissions benefits from a program that gives people incentives to purchase clean cars. The Air Resources Board also has been slow […]

The Buzz

18 Feb

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chief calls the multi-day power outage in Texas a “humanitarian crisis.” FERC is looking into what went wrong during the unusually icy conditions. It urges politicians, the media, and others to not speculate on the cause of the loss of power. Soaring demand in Texas, frozen power plants, and massive […]

Questions Raised About Integrity of Cap-and-Trade Program

17 Feb

The role of the carbon cap-and-trade program and flaws in California’s plan to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions were laid bare at a Feb. 16 meeting of the Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 2. One thing that became clear during the hearing is that the state is over relying on carbon reductions from the program, including […]

The Buzz

28 Jan

Tis the season for new legislation and among the new bills is one setting a financial bar for major companies to report their greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, big businesses would be required to report both direct and indirect carbon emissions. Other legislation would curb gas use in new buildings, seek to grow green hydrogen […]

New Bill Expands Climate Emissions Reporting

28 Jan

Legislation introduced by Sen. Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco) would require large companies that do business in California to publicly disclose their onsite and offsite greenhouse gas emissions starting in 2024. It would apply to companies that make $1 billion or more in revenue, The reporting requirement has no emissions threshold and includes businesses not covered […]

The Buzz

22 Jan

Slashing emissions from dirty diesel backup systems, the use of which is growing, is the focus of energy and air quality regulators. Diesel generation is widely used because it is cheap, accessible, and established. Panelists at a joint agency workshop tout alternative technologies fueled by gas, more so when supplied with renewable gas or green […]

Newsom Proposes $2.5B for Electric Transportation & Fire Mitigation

11 Jan

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 2021-22 budget proposes spending more than $1.5 billion to accelerate electric and other non-fossil fueled vehicles and charging stations, particularly in polluted poor communities. He also plans to direct another $1 billion to reduce wildfire risks in high threat areas—forests and communities.  Newsom’s proposal released Jan. 8 highlights significant exacerbation of climate […]

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