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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 […]

CPUC Eases Path for Utilities to Put in More Chargers

3 Jun

State utility regulators want to help fill an anticipated 2025 shortage of electric vehicle chargers in California by loosening up the rules on installations carried out by utility companies. The California Public Utilities Commission proposal also would accelerate installations of ports and associated infrastructure by allowing utilities to install more of them. At least half […]

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 […]

PG&E Sells Headquarters for $18M, Exec Compensation Soars

25 May

Pacific Gas & Electric announced May 24 it found a buyer for its long-time headquarters in downtown San Francisco. It will sell its buildings on Beale and Market streets near the San Francisco Bay for $800 million to Hines Atlas US LP, a Delaware limited partnership. After 115 years in the City by the Bay, […]

CPUC Only Okays Utilities Selling RPS Resources to Community Energy

20 May

Private utilities that purchased renewable resources on behalf of customers that have now switched to community energy must offer that generation to community aggregators and other providers, the California Public Utilities Commission decided May 20. It deferred action on related contentious issues such as how the three investor-owned utilities will sell resources offered for sale […]

Agency Heads Tout Power Additions Ahead of Summer, Not all Clean

19 May

The chiefs of the California grid operator and energy agencies told lawmakers Tuesday that they have done everything they possibly can to avoid blackouts this summer. “We know we are in a stronger position than last year,” Marybel Batjer, California Public Utilities Commission president, said during a May 18 Assembly Utilities and Energy Commission hearing. […]

Grid Operator Raises Its Extreme Summer Peak Estimate by 6%

13 May

The California Independent System Operator is “cautiously optimistic” that the grid will be more stable this summer than last because there will be 2,000 MW of added resources by Sept. 1 to help meet soaring consumption from cranked up air conditioners as the sun sets in late afternoon and early evening. That includes supply from […]

Few Surprises in Draft Energy Efficiency Code

12 May

The California Energy Commission’s latest proposed update to the Title 24 building efficiency code differs little from an earlier draft released in February. The latest language includes an expansion of CEC incentives to drive adoption of electric space or water heating, whichever is the biggest energy draw for a given new home, apartment, school, or […]

SDG&E Faces No Competition for San Diego Franchise

5 May

San Diego Gas & Electric remains the sole bidder in the City of San Diego’s solicitation for exclusive electric and gas services. “We do not feel it is appropriate to characterize where we are in the negotiation process,” Jeffery Martin, CEO of parent company Sempra Energy, told financial analysts May 5. The city, the eighth […]

Local Permitting Remains Major Hurdle to EV Charging

4 May

Getting local permits for electric vehicle chargers in hand, and the cost of installing them in California, continue to exceed national averages. That is despite the enactment more than five years ago of a law to streamline permitting. The average wait time for a local EV charger permit in California is 70% longer than the […]

CAISO Moves Toward Better Use of Storage

29 Apr

The California grid operator issued a paper Wednesday outlining proposals to make its market more friendly for energy storage after sharp criticism from storage providers. Their complaints include that compensation is inadequate because the current market algorithm is too limited to accommodate batteries in the real-time market. The aim is “to fully integrate these resources […]

PG&E’s Groundbreaking $7.5B PG&E Ratepayer-Backed Bond Set to Go

22 Apr

Pacific Gas & Electric ratepayers are now presumed to be on the hook for more than $11 billion over the next 30 years for a $7.5 billion bond, plus about $4 billion in interest. The unprecedented ratepayer-backed bond is to refinance PG&E’s $6 billion in short-term bankruptcy debt taken on to compensate fire victims last […]

New Issue at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant Raises Specter of Energy Crisis

22 Apr

A new problem has surfaced at the troubled Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant Unit 2, forcing it offline again this week. The 1,150 MW unit has suffered four crashes the last several months because of ongoing problems in the unit’s electric generator. Those have occurred since a $100 million rebuild in 2019. “The current work […]

The Push and Pull Over the Costs and Benefits of Rooftop Solar Exports

20 Apr

by Fereidoon Sioshansi The U.S. solar industry had another record year in 2020 installing 19.2 GW of capacity, 43% above 2019. That is according to the U.S. Solar Market Insight 2020 Year in Review, released in mid-March by the Solar Energy Industry Association, and Wood Mackenzie. California, Texas, and Florida were the top three states […]

Federal Regulators Take Steps to Lower Utility Incentives, Integrate State Carbon Pricing

15 Apr

Members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission agree on the need for better transmission efficiency and a build out of high voltage lines. But the five commissioners strongly disagree on incentives for utilities that participate in independent and regional transmission organizations, which are responsible for grid modernizations. To protect ratepayers, FERC proposed April 15 on […]

CEC Okays Big Green Energy Grants, More Diesel Backup Looms

14 Apr

The California Energy Commission approved $73 million in grants for clean energy projects, ranging from advanced communications within batteries for fast electric vehicle charging, flexible demand response, to green microgrids. The five commissioners also moved closer April 14 to voting on two more big diesel backup generator projects at data centers. The decisive vote on […]

JUICE: Vehicle-to-Grid and Home So Close and Yet So Far

13 Apr

Hundreds of billions of dollars of public money may soon infuse the electric vehicle market. President Joe Biden plans to invest $174 billion over 10 years, and Gov. Gavin Newsom proposes spending $1.5 billion in his 2021-22 state budget. In addition, the California Energy Commission detailed April 13 a $50 million project to accelerate the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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