Library filed under Energy Policy from California

Aerial photos of giant Google-funded solar farm caught in green energy debate

Barbara Boyle, a senior representative at the Sierra Club's regional field office in Sacramento, says Ivanpah could have been located at any number of other locations where it would have had less impact on the environment and the tortoises that live there. Boyle says there are multiple areas in Southern California, including old dried-up agricultural lands and mining areas, that would have been more suitable.
14 Nov 2012

PUC secrecy extends beyond solar to rates and safety

BrightSource Energy, now building two huge solar thermal plants to supply customers of Southern California Edison Co., added a large amount of heat-exchange energy storage capacity to its projects. ...probably a good idea, and the PUC quickly approved it. But once again, there was no mention of cost. No one knows how much consumers will pay for that improvement, so no one outside the utilities commission can judge whether the gigantic storage units will be worth the money they'll cost.
18 Jan 2012

Energy in America: Dead birds unintended consequence of wind power development

Wind power is the fastest growing component in the state's green energy portfolio, but wildlife advocates say the marriage has an unintended consequence: dead birds, including protected species of eagles, hawks and owls. "The cumulative impacts are huge," said Shawn Smallwood, one of the few recognized experts studying the impact of wind farms on migratory birds.
16 Aug 2011

Has California met its 33-percent RPS obligation?

California_renewables_xmission_8-3-11_thumb This letter prepared by Michael Picker, Senior Advisor to the Governor of California for renewable energy facilities, to the Western Electricity Coordinating Council explains that the State of California appears to have met its 33% RPS requirement for 2020. Excerpts of the letter are provided below. The full letter can be accessed by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.
3 Aug 2011

Utilities' renewable energy pacts expensive

Since the law was passed, 59 percent of the contracts the utilities have signed with renewable power developers have been more expensive than the levelized price of electricity from a new natural gas plant. The levelized price takes into account the costs of building, operating and fueling the plant. ..."The thrust of the message is, we need some kind of cost containment," said Yuliya Shmidt, a regulatory analyst with the commission's Division of Ratepayer Advocates.
19 Feb 2011

Calif. cap-trade plan dealt blow by S.F. judge

Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith ruled that the air board approved the larger plan to implement AB32 prior to completing the required environmental review, and that the board failed to adequately consider alternatives to cap and trade. The Air Resources Board "seeks to create a fait accompli by premature establishment of a cap-and-trade program before alternative (sic) can be exposed to public comment and properly evaluated by the ARB itself."
4 Feb 2011

Calif. rule may stunt Oregon clean energy market

"All this makes this whole situation so gray. And if you're a business trying to decide whether you should invest half a billion dollars in a wind farm in Oregon or Washington, or Montana for that matter, your financial folks are going to be pretty scared," said John Audley, deputy director of the Renewable Northwest Project.
20 Jan 2011

Analyzing the 'California effect' on the Northwest's wind power boom

"California is a very big variable," said Elliot Mainzer, who is Bonneville Power Administration's guru on how to balance future energy and environmental needs here in the Northwest. When asked if he thought California was carrying its weight as far as managing those type of issues, he said "I would like to see California pay a little bit more attention to our issues, quite frankly."
18 Dec 2010

Air board's arrogance damaging

The message is that California energy prices will soar, on top of the added costs of huge taxpayer subsidies that will be needed to finance so-called renewable energy sources. Wind, solar and geothermal energy are all economically infeasible without massive subsidies. Like the huge amounts of taxpayer dollars already wasted in government subsidies for the ethanol industry, other renewable-energy endeavors are likely to face similar fates.
11 Nov 2010

Analysis: Voters deliver mixed message on renewable energy

Big Republican wins in the House of Representatives make it unlikely that a bill to curb emissions from fossil fuels or establish renewable-energy goals will make it through Congress. But in California, clean-energy policies apparently struck a chord with voters, who handed the governorship to Democrat Jerry Brown, a strong proponent of cutting emissions and boosting alternative-energy industries.
3 Nov 2010

Calif. push for renewables could blow across West

The new California regulation requires that a third of the state's power supply, or an estimated 15,000 to 25,000 megawatts, must come from a renewable source, said Stanley Young, a spokesman for the air board. ..."What that will do is finance wind farms in Montana, whether those electrons make it to California or someplace else," said Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer.
26 Sep 2010

How SB722 fell through legislative cracks

Perhaps the biggest impediment to passage of the 64-page bill was the number of interest groups with a stake in the outcome: utilities, environmentalists, labor unions, big companies such as Safeway and Shell Oil that procure their own electricity, and developers of wind, solar and geothermal power. Each faction, and the factions within the factions, kept pushing for amendments.
12 Sep 2010

Federal Ruling Casts Doubt On Vermont Renewable Energy Program

A federal ruling has cast doubt on a Vermont program designed to promote renewable energy. The ruling says utilities should not pay more than market rates for electricity from the clean-energy projects. The state agency that represents consumers wants to know how the decision affects projects in Vermont, so it's asked the state attorney general's office for legal advice.
5 Aug 2010
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