Library filed under Energy Policy from California

California invested heavily in solar power. Now there's so much that other states are sometimes paid to take it

But CAISO concedes that curtailments and “negative pricing” is likely to happen even more often in the future as solar power production continues to grow, unless action is taken to better manage the excess electricity. Arizona’s largest utility, Arizona Public Service, is one of the biggest beneficiaries of California’s largesse because it is next door and the power can easily be sent there on transmission lines. On days that Arizona is paid to take California’s excess solar power, Arizona Public Service says it has cut its own solar generation rather than fossil fuel power. So California’s excess solar isn’t reducing greenhouse gases when that happens.
22 Jun 2017

Can California really hit a 100% renewable energy target?

Robert Michaels, an economics professor at Cal State Fullerton, is not as confident and predicts SB100 will lead to higher bills for ratepayers. “It’s going to be expensive. “We already know there are a lot of problems with reliability, just with the percentage of intermittent renewables that you have here (in California). And until, and probably not even after, we get a lot more in the way of usable battery storage or some way of storing this stuff, it’s simply not going to be feasible.”
9 Jun 2017

California’s push for a 100 percent renewable energy future may hit roadblocks

The path to an all-renewable electrical grid would mean major technological advances and upgrades, experts say. Arne Olson, partner at the international energy consulting firm E3, said the state would have to diversify its renewable portfolio. Building solar farms can be expensive and take up lots of land, and federal restrictions have banned wind farms from prime desert sites.
24 May 2017

The California duck curve is real, and bigger than expected

An analysis of CAISO data from 2011 through mid-2016 by consultancy ScottMadden reveals that California has largely exceeded its 2013 projections for lower net loads and higher ramps in energy demand. These changes are occurring in the wintertime too, another season that’s light on air conditioning load. In addition, the deepest drops are happening on weekends, not weekdays.
3 Nov 2016

Stop squandering California's energy resources

The plant's operators and the environmental groups who orchestrated the shutdown intend to fill the energy gap left by Diablo Canyon's closure with wind and solar power, as well as conservation initiatives. Even if they make good on those promises, the transition will come at a high cost -- particularly to low-income Californians already struggling to keep their lights on.
14 Aug 2016

Thorny issues challenge California's commitment to renewable energy goals

“There is a regressive nature to some of these things,” Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday, noting that more than 1 million state households spend more than 10% of their income on energy. “We have to be sensitive to issues relating to energy costs.” ... renewable energy goals will require going far beyond putting up new wind turbines and solar array farms. 
16 Jul 2016

What will California do with too much solar?

So, Casey is proposing California join up with its neighbors. Instead of having lots of electric grids across the West, each doing their own thing, there would be a larger regional grid, sharing power across state lines. When California has too much solar power, neighboring states would buy it, preventing California from having to switch off the solar farms.
4 Apr 2016

California’s Clean Energy Jobs Act fails to create promised green jobs

The Energy Commission said its jobs number is based on dollars spent and doesn’t take the type of project into account. Johnson said the slow results show the oversight board should have gotten involved much earlier. “They should have been overseeing all stages of this project, not just waiting until the money’s gone and seeing where it went,” Johnson said.
18 Aug 2015

After a building boom, solar energy's prospects now aren't as sunny

"Nobody's going to break ground on any big new solar projects right now — utilities want to see how farms coming online this year fit into the grid, and developers are waiting for more certainty about state policies and federal tax credits." Utilities had been willing to pay more because many states require them to derive a significant percentage of their power from renewables, but now utilities are on track to meet those requirements, giving them less incentive to buy higher-priced solar energy.
11 Jan 2014

Power struggle: Green energy versus a grid that's not ready

Some utility officials warn, however, that the only guarantee is that ratepayers will be spending a lot. The commission's goals, while laudable, "could cost up to $3 billion with uncertain net benefits for customers," Southern California Edison declared in a filing. But regulators are desperate to move past the status quo. Already, power grid operators in some states have had to dump energy produced by wind turbines on blustery days because regional power systems had no room for it. Officials at the California Independent System Operator, which manages the grid in California, say renewable energy producers are making the juggling act increasingly complex.
3 Dec 2013

California's alternative-energy program under scrutiny

"Suddenly, you look up and there are literally hundreds of millions of dollars going into investments that produce marginal benefits," said state Sen. Rod Wright (D-Inglewood), a member of the Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee. "You know the tale of Robin Hood? Well, this is robbing the 'hood," he said. "You are taking from poor people to give to rich people." ..."We are moving in the direction of spending $2.5 billion per year on energy efficiency and alternative-energy programs."
14 Oct 2013

US geothermal industry fights to prove its value

It is challenging for Cal ISO to manage the big swings in solar and wind power due to intermittency. Solar power spikes when the sun rises in the morning and throughout the afternoon, but drops at night, while cloud cover and other variables can also affect it. California’s wind resources climb in the evening but fall in the morning, he said. Cal ISO has been increasingly forced to ramp up power — on Sept. 30, 2013, for example, it spiked power by 6,500 MW in a three-hour period. By 2020, the ramps will more than double to 13,500 MW, he predicted.
9 Oct 2013

California's Cap-and-Tax Grab

In short, California Democrats are proving that the real point of cap and trade is to give politicians another revenue stream for income redistribution while dodging accountability for raising taxes. That's worth keeping in mind when liberals resurrect the scheme for the entire U.S.
18 Jun 2013

Public power agency's big hurdle: Facing Sonoma County's cities starting Tuesday

Many city representatives say that they are unlikely to give any go-ahead that would effectively enroll customers, who would have the option to opt out, without seeing final rates and having a clearer idea of where the program will get its electricity and how green it will be. ...Benefits, including local energy projects that could create jobs, are "intriguing," Kyes said. "But there really isn't any information yet that shows that's more than talk."
7 May 2013

California's Coming Green-Outs

The upshot is that millions of Californians could soon experience power outages. As the state derives more of its electricity from renewables, it needs more "peak" gas-fired plants that can ramp up to meet demand when the sun isn't shining and wind isn't blowing-namely during dawn and dusk. Otherwise, rolling blackouts could ensue. Nobody knows exactly how much flexible power is needed to ensure a reliable electric supply.
30 Mar 2013

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=California&p=2&topic=Energy+Policy
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