Articles filed under Energy Policy from California

California is rushing to add solar power. Did recent blackouts just shade our green future?

But now the blackouts have put Gov. Gavin Newsom and policymakers on the defensive about the state’s energy choices. Critics are chortling over the fact that wind power isn’t always reliable and solar naturally fades as evening arrives, leaving the state exposed to energy shortages during extraordinary heat waves. “What we’ve seen over time is a starving away of the very electricity that keeps the lights on in California,” said Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, vice chairman of the Assembly’s Utilities and Energy Committee. “When the wind stops blowing and the sun stops shining, the people of California do not stop living their lives and cooking their food and washing their clothes.
24 Aug 2020

The day California went dark was a crisis years in the making

By the late afternoon Friday, when the state’s substantial solar production began to drop off as the sun set, California ISO grid operators in its control room in Folsom knew they were in trouble. The renewable supply was falling, and there wasn’t enough gas to replace it. The only recourse left was to import power from neighboring states. Unfortunately, imports on a major transmission line connecting Northern California to resources in the Pacific Northwest had been curtailed as grid operators across the region lined up supplies due to the extreme heat, according to Wood Mackenzie analyst John McMahon and the ISO.
22 Aug 2020

Blackouts lay bare problems in transition to clean energy

“We have a much more risky supply of energy now because the sun doesn’t always shine when we want and the wind doesn’t always blow when we want,” said Frank Wolak, a Stanford University economics professor who specializes in energy markets. “We need more tools to manage that risk. We need more insurance against the supply shortfalls.” But the problems made Newsom see red. 
17 Aug 2020

California faces a crossroads on the path to 100% clean energy

In an ironic twist, the rapid growth of solar power is one of the reasons energy regulators say it’s too soon to retire the four coastal gas plants. Growing amounts of California’s electricity are supplied by solar farms — sometimes 50% or more on spring afternoons, when sunshine is abundant and electricity demand is low. But all that solar generation drops off sharply each evening, at which point natural gas plants typically fire up to fill the gap.
12 Dec 2019

CA energy shortage looms amid shift to renewables

The price of our leaders’ green virtue will fall particularly hard on working-class Californians who already suffer the nation’s highest rate of people living in poverty. They also tend to live in less-temperate geographies such as the Inland Empire, the high desert and the Central Valley. Expect the recent moves to expand the ranks of the million Californians who suffer from “energy poverty,” defined as spending 10 percent or more of their household income on energy-related expenses.
3 Apr 2019

FERC reasserts authority over PG&E contracts in bankruptcy court filing

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last week reasserted jurisdiction over power contracts held by California utility Pacific Gas and Electric ...PG&E last month asked a federal bankruptcy court to prevent FERC from enforcing the terms of more than 380 power purchase agreements (PPAs) that it may want to exit as part of a Chapter 11 proceeding. FERC argued Friday it must separately win approval from the agency to alter the contract terms.
19 Feb 2019

California’s big climate plans could be in hands of PG&E bankruptcy judge

In its bankruptcy filing, PG&E claims some of the credit for helping renewable energy come of age, saying its contracts “contributed to significant price reductions for renewable energy resources currently available in the market.” But PG&E is still paying out those contracts, which can last 15 to 20 years. The bankruptcy judge could potentially seek to change their terms or prices.
31 Jan 2019

It’s safe and emissions free. So why is California in the doldrums around offshore wind?

Gleaning energy from ocean wind would seem to be a California ideal: It emits no greenhouse gases, has nearly no environmental footprint, and harnesses one of the state’s most powerful and plentiful natural resources. But engineering challenges, regulatory hurdles and concerns about the turbines’ impact on wildlife have, until recently, mucked any forward progress.
8 Dec 2018

If California wants to go carbon-free, it needs to end its nuclear moratorium

A new state law signed this month, SB 100, requires all of California’s electricity to come from zero-carbon sources by 2045. Many news reports advertised the law as a mandate for renewable energy, but lawmakers in Sacramento quietly acknowledged that the state may need more than wind turbines, solar panels and hydroelectric dams to meet its climate goals. The new law allows up to 40% of the state’s electricity to come from other zero-carbon sources, including nuclear energy and fossil fuel plants, as long as they capture their carbon emissions.
24 Sep 2018

100% Certifiable California

Most states are enjoying flat or declining electricity rates thanks to shale fracking, which has sent natural gas prices plummeting. But not California, where rates have jumped 25% since 2013. Electricity prices in the Golden State are by far the highest in the continental western U.S. and twice as high as in Washington state. The reason: California requires that 50% of power be generated from renewables such as solar and wind by 2030. 
10 Sep 2018

California Lawmakers Fail to Approve 100 Percent Renewable Energy Goal

The bill ran afoul of the powerful International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1245, which said that sponsor Kevin de Leόn, the president of the State Senate, had gone back on a promise to include amendments to protect union jobs and to assure the security of the power grid. De Leόn's office denied that he promised any amendments to the local, which represents most utility workers in Northern California.
17 Sep 2017

California clean energy proposals face demise as opposition fails to yield

Senate Bill 100 from state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), would phase out fossil fuels for generating electricity within three decades.  ...But champions of the efforts have struggled to overcome disagreements among unions, utilities, environmentalists, energy companies and lawmakers in the final days of the legislative session. 
15 Sep 2017

California policies pose challenge for Wyoming wind farm

Early construction is ongoing at the site near Rawlins, and needs to continue without pause if the company is to qualify for the federal subsidy. If it qualifies for the tax credit, it would last for up to 10 years, she said. Firms that began construction by last year keep the subsidy for a decade. The Power Company of Wyoming is not confident that the second phase of development, for an additional 500 turbines, will qualify for the tax credit.
6 Sep 2017

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