Library filed under Energy Policy from California

California begins risky war on global warming today

A landmark global warming law that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is scheduled to sign today commits California to the ambitious goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020. How exactly that will be accomplished — and at what cost — is unknown. But it’s clear that if the state intends to meet its goals, Californians will see many changes over the next 14 years, from higher fuel prices to bigger forests.....But California also is taking a big risk. If others do not follow, the state’s residents and companies could end up paying hundreds of millions of dollars to make cuts that by themselves will do little to curb global warming.
27 Sep 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

State red tape trips up green energy efforts

As Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger prepares this week to sign into law the nation's most ambitious effort to address global warming, a key component of California's push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions -- increasing the use of renewable power to create electricity -- has faltered. Despite overwhelming public and political support for renewable power, ratepayer contributions of $319 million, and a 2002 law mandating a dramatic increase in the use of sun and wind to create megawatts, California has boosted its use of renewable energy by less than 1 percent of the state's overall electricity use in the past four years.
24 Sep 2006

Wind Generation's Performance during the July 2006 California Heat Storm

So what happened in California during the mid-July heat storm when that electric grid was put to the test, and California avoided rolling blackouts amid a Level 1 Emergency in which Californian’s were asked to raise their thermostats to 77 and many manufactures and business voluntarily shutdown? By most people’s analysis, wind’s performance was disappointing. Specifically during this period of peak demand, statewide wind often operated at only 5% of capacity, or less.
9 Sep 2006

Best 'fix' is a veto - Emissions bill solves nothing, adds headaches

At this writing, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez and other lawmakers are haggling over the final details of AB 32, a sweeping measure meant to establish California as the world leader in reducing the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. Schwarzenegger wants not just hard caps on emissions but a market-based system in which incentives are created for businesses to reduce emissions through trading of pollution credits. Núñez is lukewarm on such a “cap and trade” system. Here's our recommendation to the governor: Quit negotiating and simply veto whatever measure comes your way.
30 Aug 2006

Climate bill puts governor on hot seat

SACRAMENTO - An ambitious proposal that would make California a leader in the fight against global warming has emerged as one of the most hotly contested measures in the Legislature this year, and a key environmental test for Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in his bid for a second term. Supporters of the legislation, which would mandate reducing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide by 25 percent by the year 2020, say it could spur a wave of clean-energy technologies and create a nationwide model for combating climate change. Business groups have waged a lobbying campaign against it, arguing it would boost energy costs and make the state less hospitable to companies.
27 Aug 2006

Why the Lights Go Out in California

The state's electricity transmission and distribution system is antiquated and dilapidated. A recent Department of Energy study cited Southern California as one of two U.S. regions (New York is the other) facing critical shortages of power lines. Grid under-capacity in the Bay Area is severe. A member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission called the transmission bottleneck between Northern and Southern California "the worst electric supply situation in the entire country."
21 Aug 2006

California's new power diet plan - The Golden State has lessons to share with Ontario on how to avert an energy crisis

Arthur Rosenfeld speaks with the conviction of a man who has seen the incandescent light. As head of the California Energy Commission, he takes a decidedly low-watt approach toward energy savings, espousing staid but effective building codes, appliance standards, and utility-run energy efficiency programs that reward consumers for shopping green.
24 Mar 2006

Why energy conservation trumps windmills

Why_energy_conservation_thumb If you really want to cut energy consumption, reduce pollution, improve public health and protect our environment, it’s time to contact your elected officials, educate them about the lessons of Denmark, Germany and elsewhere, and tell them you want tougher energy efficiency measures instead of wind power plants. Otherwise, in the next few years, you’ll be looking at wind turbines in some of your favorite places, with the knowledge that they’re doing little more than funneling your tax dollars to a few lucky corporations and landowners, and away from better solutions.
1 Feb 2005

California ISO Five Year Assessment (2004-2008)

California_iso_2003_discounting_of_wind_energy_thumb This report illustrates how a typical ISO might assess the capacity value of energy sources within an energy portfolio and the negligible capacity value accorded industrial wind. An excerot of the report discussing the limitations of wind is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on the page.
10 Oct 2003

Wind Energy - Development in California Status Report

Cec-status-report-p500-85-003_thumb This status report released by the California Energy Commission discusses the status of the technology, current and proposed development, regulatory processes, issues hindering development, and recommended actions needed to resolve identified issues. The section of the report on Noise and Aesthetics is provided below. Audible and low frequency impulse noise were reported as problems with the turbines. The full report can be accessed from the links on this page.   
3 Apr 1985
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