Articles filed under Energy Policy from California

State goes green, but neglects the basics

In the latest demonstration that politicians and regulators are unqualified to operate an economy, utility executives are yet again worried about blackouts rolling across the state, this time because California's expensive rush to install wind and solar has left it dependent on renewable energy that is inherently less reliable.
3 Mar 2013

Imperial County betting its future on renewable energy

Economists are more skeptical about the long-term benefit to the county. They point out that solar and wind farms bring in an initial boom of constriction jobs, but require very few workers once they're up and running. The five projects being built in Imperial County will generate 1,946 temporary construction jobs but only 71.5 permanent ..."Once you build them you don't need many folks to maintain them."
27 Feb 2013

California girds for electricity woes

California is weighing how to avoid a looming electricity crisis that could be brought on by its growing reliance on wind and solar power. ...the surplus generating capacity doesn't guarantee steady power flow. Even though California has a lot of plants, it doesn't have the right mix: Many of the solar and wind sources added in recent years have actually made the system more fragile, because they provide power intermittently.
27 Feb 2013

Rise in renewable energy will require more use of fossil fuels

The power they produce can suddenly disappear when a cloud bank moves across the Mojave Desert or wind stops blowing through the Tehachapi Mountains. In just half an hour, a thousand megawatts of electricity can disappear and threaten stability of the grid. To avoid that calamity, fossil fuel plants have to be ready to generate electricity in mere seconds.
10 Dec 2012

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

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
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