Library filed under Energy Policy from California
The questions can be posed pretty starkly: if the voters in a place like California can reject carbon curbs, and by extension, the shift to a clean energy economy, what chance for success do the concepts have in the rest of the country?
As the deadline approaches, the three utilities have been on a deal-making spree. In the first quarter of 2010 alone, the companies combined submitted 37 contracts to the state utilities commission for approval. The agency approved just 26 in all of 2009.
Sonoma County has suspended an innovative 16-month-old program to help property owners finance solar installations and other energy-saving retrofits after a federal agency announced Tuesday that such programs present a risk to giant government-chartered mortgage lenders.
TransCanada has signed agreements with three wind energy developers to supply power to the company's proposed $3 billion electrical transmission line that would run from Wyoming to the Southwest. ...TransCanada and other Wyoming wind interests have been concerned about recent actions by the California Public Utilities Commission that they believe could limit renewable energy produced outside of that state.
The California Public Utilities Commission recently adopted a measure that may have a negative effect on Wyoming's wind energy market. In March, the commission issued an order limiting the volume of tradable renewable energy credits that public utilities there can buy to meet California's renewable portfolio standard.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) this week issued a decision that would allow the use of tradeable renewable energy credits (TRECs) in the state. The legislature had previously authorized the CPUC to allow the use of TRECS in 2006. In October, 2008, the CPUC issued its first proposed decision authorizing the use of TRECs. Since then the CPUC considered various proposed decisions that would have permitted the use of TRECs until adopting the final decision on March 11.
Households that get their power from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power could see their electric bills go up between 8.8% and 28.4%, depending on where they live and how much energy they use, under a plan unveiled Monday by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Appearing with labor and environmental leaders, Villaraigosa said the proposed increases would ensure that the DWP meets his goal of securing 20% of its energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar by Dec. 31.
Nevertheless, many states have adopted a Jeopardy!-like approach in their energy policies. They are imposing detailed renewable energy mandates that prescribe how much of which renewable energy types must be installed by specific dates. But as in the game show, these renewable energy policies are the correct answers only in response to the right questions. California is the leading contestant in this perilous renewable energy game.
The projects will help the nation and California meet renewable-energy goals, but they also raise new concerns about ruining scenic views and damaging habitat needed by species such as the desert tortoise, which has been creeping toward extinction. The Obama administration has selected three large-scale wind developments for a shortened approval process, part of an effort to advance alternative energy and reduce green-house emissions that experts say contribute to global warming. The energy companies hope to win BLM approval by Dec. 1, 2010.
The Marin County Civil Grand Jury is asking officials to pull the plug on their proposed Marin Clean Energy program, a plan designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions ...The jury's report states that the costs of the program create too high a risk for ratepayers and taxpayers alike, lacks a transparent citizen vote, and will install a new level of bureaucracy that has little or no experience with energy management.
Despite Clipper Windpower Development's claim that it may have to abandon its plan to build a 400-MW wind energy project in Baja California, Mexico, if it is required to pay a $7.5 million security deposit to keep its interconnection request active, FERC on Dec. 3 refused (ER08-1317, ER09-1722, EL10-15) to waive the company's financial security obligation.
California's renewable power boom is off to a slower start than planned. Delays have hit more than half of the big solar, wind and geothermal energy projects under development throughout the state, according to a recent government report. They're still moving forward, but not at the pace their developers expected. As a result, California probably won't meet its goal of getting 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by the end of 2010.
Texas cares little for environmental niceties. Its governor, Rick Perry, bashes the Environmental Protection Agency at every opportunity, and recently branded the climate bill that passed the House of Representatives a "legislative monstrosity." Yet the oil-and-gas state has nonetheless emerged as the nation's top producer of a commodity prized by environmentalists: wind power. Eager developers are covering its desolate western mesas with giant turbines. The world's largest wind farm began operations in Texas this month, and the state now has close to three times as much wind capacity as Iowa, the second-ranked state.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, the state's governor, has supported controversial proposals by the California's energy commission to impose strict energy consumption limits on TVs with screens that are more than 40 inches wide. The commission claims that California's estimated 35 million televisions and related gadgets account for about 10 per cent of household energy consumption in the state.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a pair of renewable-energy bills late Sunday, saying that an alternative plan he is pursuing to boost the state's percentage of renewable power sold to 33% is preferable. ...Unlike the vetoed legislation, the new rules won't limit the amount of renewable power California utilities can buy from out-of-state facilities that are too far away to deliver the electricity in real time. Mr. Schwarzenegger agreed ...that restricting out-of-state renewable energy purchases would make it nearly impossible for utilities to meet the 2020 deadline.
In Utah, state officials are fielding various combinations of energy proposals, a list that includes solar and geothermal installations and an energy storage project ...Scores of projects - some speculative, others well-funded and a few quirky - have surfaced with energy companies eager to take advantage of loan guarantees and tax breaks being promoted by President Barack Obama.
Governor Schwarzenegger's plan to reduce greenhouse gases could fail to reach its goals - or it could expand the use of coal power in California. ...When Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an executive order last week to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, he made national headlines ...But a closer examination of Schwarzenegger's order reveals that the hype surrounding it may have been overblown.
The flurry of recent renewable power decisions in Sacramento could have far-reaching - even contradictory - results. ...Renewable power advocates are still trying to assess the effects of all the things that Sacramento did and didn't do. But they see several likely results.
Alternative energy has become quite fashionable, especially in electricity generation. Wind, solar, tides, dairies. If you can work "carbon emissions" or "global warming" into the press release, you've got a winner. Electricity is the lifeblood of our America. Are you ready to turn back the clock on your standard of living? Until the technology improves on alternative electric energy sources, they all have to be considered experimental and supplementary. Here's why.
California's push to supersize its renewable energy standards could drive electricity rates higher for Northwest consumers, strain the west's transmission and hydroelectric systems, and create a host of thorny policy issues. The California Assembly passed a pair of bills Friday to create the nation's most aggressive renewable energy mandate. It would require utilities to meet one third of their customers' needs with green energy such as wind, solar and geothermal by 2020.