Library filed under Taxes & Subsidies from California

Out-of-State wind and solar generation could be excluded from participating in California's renewable portfolio standard

The intent to prevent California's utilities from using out-of-state wind and solar generation to meet the new 33% RPS requirement is not obvious from the provisions of the bills. The exclusion results from a change in the requirements concerning the "delivery" of generation to California. Under California's current RPS legislation, in order to qualify as an eligible renewable energy resource such that California's utilities can count that generation against their RPS requirements, out-of-state generators are required to deliver the electricity to California simultaneous with its generation.
24 Apr 2009

California's green energy spike

California increasingly is depending on solar energy to meet its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the state's landmark 2006 global warming law. According to regulators, utilities received 30% more bids for solar power projects in 2008 than in the previous year while wind farm proposals dropped by half and "very few" geothermal tenders were filed. The fact that utilities received 24,000 megawatts' worth of renewable energy bids last year (more than enough, if built, to meet the 33% renewable energy target) speaks to the frothy state of the market.
19 Feb 2009

California study shows high cost of renewable power

If California expands its renewable power generation to be a third of electricity delivered in the state by 2020, it may cost $60 billion, the state's utility regulator said in a report issued on Thursday. It is more costly to make electricity with renewable power -- solar, wind, geothermal and other sources that emit no or low amounts of global-warming greenhouse gases -- than with natural gas, nuclear and coal power plants. ...On Tuesday, California voters overwhelmingly -- 65 percent of the vote -- rejected a statewide ballot measure that would have required 50 percent of power to be generated from renewables by 2025.
7 Nov 2008

Utah exporting money, power

According to an article printed in the Deseret Morning News on Dec. 21, the wind farm planned for the Milford area will receive tax subsidies from the state of Utah to the tune of $4.3 million. Since all of the electric power from this subsidized project will be sent to California, it is akin to exporting Utah money, by wire, to the Golden State.
3 Jan 2008

Calif. emissions laws costly?

As California takes its first baby steps toward implementing the most aggressive climate-change policy in the country, experts debate the economic feasibility of attaining the state`s goals. Its overarching policy lies in the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which requires greenhouse gas emissions in the state to fall back to 1990 levels by 2020. One of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger`s executive orders, S-3-25, addresses long-term goals by aiming at an 80 percent emissions reduction below 1990 levels by 2050. The state`s ability to reach these goals holds implications not only for Californians, but the rest of the nation`s climate-change policy as well, Samuel Thernstrom, director of the American Enterprise Institute`s program on culture and freedom, said at a panel discussion last week.
7 Jul 2007

Environmentalists, wind energy officials can’t find common ground

Wind turbines flourishing in California's Altamont and Tehachapi passes need tighter federal regulation, environmentalists told lawmakers Tuesday. Wind energy officials disagree. Thus the battle is joined, at a politically sensitive time. With tax credits up in the air and a long-awaited study arriving on how wind turbines kill birds and bats, strong opinions are blowing across Capitol Hill. As often happens, the central policy question pits rules against recommendations.
2 May 2007

FERC gives OK for Calif. ‘green’ power lines plan

California's innovative financing plan to help relatively small renewable energy firms get their power to market over high-voltage transmission lines won approval from federal regulators on Thursday. Developers of new power plants generally pay the cost for building high-voltage "trunklines" to connect their plants to utilities that deliver the power to consumers. But most renewable energy companies are smaller firms that develop wind, solar or geothermal resources in remote locations that need new lines, which they often cannot afford to build. The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave the OK for the California Independent System Operator to spread the cost of building the new lines among the utilities that receive the power.
20 Apr 2007

Public Utility Commission says it is leaning toward giving residents credit for their renewable energy

California property owners are poised to gain yet another reason to go green. In a decision closely watched by the solar industry, the California Public Utilities Commission recently signaled its intent to award the ownership of credits earned from renewable energy sources to the residential and commercial owners of such systems — and not to the utility companies. If this preliminary decision by the PUC becomes final during its Jan. 11 meeting, it will allow the state to establish a market where these renewable energy credits can be bought and sold. The PUC has wrestled with the question of who owns the credits for the past two years.
27 Dec 2006

Less For More: The Rube Goldberg Nature of Industrial Wind Development

Less_for_more_thumb Rube Goldberg would admire the utter purity of the pretensions of wind technology in pursuit of a safer modern world, claiming to be saving the environment while wreaking havoc upon it. But even he might be astonished by the spin of wind industry spokesmen. Consider the comments made by the American Wind Industry Association.s Christina Real de Azua in the wake of the virtual nonperformance of California.s more than 13,000 wind turbines in mitigating the electricity crisis precipitated by last July.s .heat storm.. .You really don.t count on wind energy as capacity,. she said. .It is different from other technologies because it can.t be dispatched.. (84) The press reported her comments solemnly without question, without even a risible chortle. Because they perceive time to be running out on fossil fuels, and the lure of non-polluting wind power is so seductive, otherwise sensible people are promoting it at any cost, without investigating potential negative consequences-- and with no apparent knowledge of even recent environmental history or grid operations. Eventually, the pedal of wishful thinking and political demagoguery will meet the renitent metal of reality in the form of the Second Law of Thermodynamics (85) and public resistance, as it has in Denmark and Germany. Ironically, support for industrial wind energy because of a desire for reductions in fossil-fueled power and their polluting emissions leads ineluctably to nuclear power, particularly under pressure of relentlessly increasing demand for reliable electricity. Environmentalists who demand dependable power generation at minimum environmental risk should take care about what they wish for, more aware that, with Rube Goldberg machines, the desired outcome is unlikely to be achieved. Subsidies given to industrial wind technology divert resources that could otherwise support effective measures, while uninformed rhetoric on its behalf distracts from the discourse.and political action-- necessary for achieving more enlightened policy.
20 Dec 2006

CPUC Preliminary Ruling on Greenhouse Gas Emissions Performance Standard

Cpuc_prelimary_ruling_emissions_standard_and_attachments_thumb Today, we adopt an interim greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions performance standard for new long-term financial commitments to baseload generation undertaken by all load-serving entities (LSEs), consistent with the requirements and definitions of Senate Bill (SB) 1368 (Stats. 2006, ch. 598).2 Our adopted emissions performance standard or “EPS” is intended to serve as a near-term bridge until an enforceable load-based GHG emissions limit is established and in operation.......Under SB 1368, the EPS applies to “baseload generation,” but the requirement to comply with it is triggered only if there is a “long-term financial commitment” by an LSE. The statute defines baseload generation as “electricity generation from a powerplant that is designed and intended to provide electricity at an annualized plant capacity factor of at least 60%..........Pursuant to SB 1368, the performance level of the EPS must be “no higher” than the emissions rate of a CCGT powerplant.11 However, the statute does not specify the emissions rate for a CCGT. Based on our review of emissions rates associated with a broad range of CCGT powerplants of varying vintages, we adopt an EPS emissions rate of 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) per megawatt-hour (MWh).Editor's Note: This provides interesting insight into the rationale behind establishing 1,000 pds of CO2/MWh as an Emissions Performance Standard (EPS) for baseload generation. Please note that in Figure 1 "Net Emissions Comparison Data' the net emissions accorded 'wind electricity' should have been accorded to 'solar thermal with Gas Assist'.
16 Dec 2006

Prop. 87 not the right road toward alternative energy

The temptation for Silicon Valley voters would be to ignore the intricacies of the proposition and simply decide a ``yes'' vote would send a message to oil companies and to the world that California intends to lead the way in developing alternative energy sources. That would be a mistake. We strongly support the concept of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs helping California research and develop technological breakthroughs that will eliminate our foolhardy reliance on Middle East oil. But two fundamental flaws in Proposition 87 force us to recommend a ``no'' vote.
30 Oct 2006

California to vote on new oil tax

Hollywood celebrities, Silicon Valley tycoons and energy companies are waging a multi-million dollar campaign battle over plans for a Californian oil tax. They are fighting over Proposition 87, which proposes raising $4bn (£2.1bn) to fund alternative energy projects by taxing oil production in California....... Backers of the proposition claim it will fund a $4bn programme aimed at reducing the state's petrol consumption by 25%, promoting wind, solar and bio fuel energy alternatives and reducing air pollution. Its critics say the tax will drive up petrol prices, increase California's reliance on foreign oil and create an unaccountable bureaucracy to spend the proceeds.
20 Oct 2006

Vote down Prop. 87

WHO wouldn't like to hit Big Oil where it hurts - in the wallet? Proposition87, however, could end up costing the state and taxpayers for years to come. While promising to bring in close to a half-billion dollars annually from taxes on oil drilling in California, none of those dollars will go in the treasury. Not one penny will be used to pay down the state's debt, ensure education funding or provide more health insurance to working families. Likely, California's property taxes and corporate income taxes could be reduced if oil producers decide to pump less of the black gold from California fields to avoid the extraction tax. Also, Californians aren't likely to see any immediate benefits from the measure for many years. That's because proceeds from the tax would fuel a $4 billion program for alternative energy research and provide start-up capital for technology companies.
24 Sep 2006

Credits help Utilities go green

Wind farms in Kansas, Nebraska and California will play a role in Colorado Springs Utilities’ compliance with a voter-approved mandate on renewable energy. But homes and businesses in Colorado Springs won’t be getting electricity produced by harnessing wind in those places. Instead, renewable energy credits will be logged into Colorado Springs Utilities’ books.
23 Sep 2006

Turning to wind for power

"Wind is more an intermittent energy supply," said Amy Morgan, a spokeswoman for the California Energy Commission, which certifies solar and wind systems that are eligible for state tax credits. Morgan said only about 2 percent of the applicants asking for tax credits are using wind energy. Most are choosing solar.
10 Sep 2006
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