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CPUC Allows PacifiCorp to Delay Coal Retirement Plan, Eases Economics of Clean Microgrids

19 Jul

The California Public Utilities Commission voted without discussion to extend by several months the date by which PacifiCorp must file its plan detailing the retirement of coal plants serving 45,000 California ratepayers. PacifiCorp is a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. At the same July 15 meeting, the CPUC approved waiving a utility standby capacity […]

The Buzz

15 Jul

A divided California Public Utilities Commission green lights a $240 million utility electric vehicle charging program to help get the state closer to its 1 million-plus charger target. Two commissioners object, including because they didn’t have time to analyze the newly revised decision that earlier had been pulled off the Thursday agenda. Utility regulators unanimously okay […]

Utilities Request to Use Ratepayer Funds for Hydrogen–Natural Gas Blending Project Rejected

15 Jul

Four natural gas utilities’ attempt to get a piece of the innovative clean energy transition in the form of a $32 million reimbursement for blending small amounts of renewal hydrogen into their pipelines got a thumb’s down from the California Public Utility Commission July 15. SoCalGas, San Diego Gas & Electric, Pacific Gas & Electric and […]

CPUC Mandates 11.5 GW of New Clean Electricity

24 Jun

State regulators stripped natural gas power plants from a new mandate that 11,500 MW of new resources be online by mid-decade, to the delight of clean energy advocates. Two earlier competing California Public Utilities Commission proposals would have included fossil resources, with one calling for 1,500 MW and the other 500 MW to be squeezed […]

CPUC Takes a Beating for Ignoring Legislative Mandates

17 Jun

The California Public Utilities Commission leadership was taken to task by a key Assembly energy committee for not implementing legislative mandates­ on a series of issues–-from energy efficiency to direct access. The berating came during a June 16 hearing. Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee Chair Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) said the legislature passes bills with “clear […]

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 […]

DOE Follows Los Angeles with Launch of Clean Hydrogen Plan

7 Jun

The Department of Energy proposed June 7 to drive down the cost of “clean hydrogen” by 80% over the coming decade. DOE’s Energy Earthshots Initiative aims to cut the cost of zero- and low-carbon hydrogen to as low as $1 per kilogram. The fuel’s current cost is between $4-$7 per kg. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm […]

State Utility Regulators Call For 11.5 GW of New Resources by 2026

25 May

Two competing California Public Utilities Commission proposals would require utilities, community energy and other provider investments in a combined 11,500 megawatts to come online between 2023 and 2026 to ensure a solid and far less polluting grid. About one tenth would come from fossil-fueled power. One proposal, by Administrative Law Judge Julie Fitch, would okay […]

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 […]

Green Hydrogen Alliance Growing in Los Angeles

18 May

A coalition promoting the development of a hydrogen industry based on renewable resources in California grew significantly with the addition of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power this week. Green hydrogen also gets a big boost in the Governor’s revised budget announced May 14, assuming it gets approved by the legislature. The revised […]

What Biden’s $1.9 T Infrastructure Plan Does and Doesn’t Include

20 Apr

by Herman Trabish The Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion spending plan to make the U.S. power sector 100% clean energy by 2035 has generated great attention but barely begun its way through Congress. Clean energy proposals in the Biden American Jobs Plan would expand the renewable energy tax credits and mandate spending for clean energy and […]

Bills Expanding Clean and not so Clean Electricity & Transportation Resources, Advance

13 Apr

Here’s the latest update on how 2021 climate and energy-related proposed legislation is faring: The Senate Energy Utilities & Communication Committee approved a bill to speed the integration of offshore wind and long duration storage, among other emerging clean energy resources, onto the grid and into resource planning. The committee also advanced bills to expand […]

JUICE: In Recall Election, Perception Matters, Will Reality Intercede?

7 Apr

Does a March report showing Los Angeles can achieve virtually 100% renewable energy as early as 2035 signal Gov. Gavin Newsom and his energy czars are ceding their leadership on a carbon-free economy? And would that perception dissuade environmental voters from supporting the governor in the upcoming recall election? Recent state decisions to extend the […]

JUICE: Covid Wreaks Havoc on Legislative Hearings for a Second Year

1 Apr

It used to be, pre-pandemic, that spring was the time that numerous bills were vetted and voted on during weekly legislative policy committee hearings. Energy legislation was debated for hours, extending into the night from time to time. Rarely did they match for length of the brutal Eternal Peace hearings when California’s 1996 deregulation law […]

LA & Sacramento Reach for 100% Clean Power Years Ahead of State Mandate

25 Mar

By the end of this decade, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power can reliably, equitably, and affordably provide power that is 98% carbon free. That is according to a National Energy Renewable Laboratory study commissioned by the City of Los Angeles released March 24. NREL analyzed multiple scenarios developed over several years to […]

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 […]

Energy Commission Okays Big Grant for Zero Emission Truck Fueling Stations

18 Mar

The California Energy Commission March 17 approved $83 million in grants to promote low and zero emission projects and reduce data centers’ energy use. The largest grant was $50 million awarded to CalStart for truck charging refueling and charging stations. The funding aims to speed up station installations especially in disadvantaged, low income, and tribal […]

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 […]

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 […]

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