“As California goes, so goes the nation.”
The popular saying came about because of California’s penchant for pioneering innovative solutions that tend to catch on across the country. And in no case is that more true than with the type of environmental issues that California confronts on a daily basis. In fact, efforts to protect and enhance the environmental quality in California are so critical to EDF’s larger programmatic work, it’s rare we don’t mention them to various stakeholders across the nation, not just those within the state’s borders.
For that reason, we’re combining EDF’s California-specific blog with content developed on environmental issues in other states and countries – creating a more holistic look and feel for our readers seeking to understand more about pressing environmental issues and solutions.
Readers of our California content will still get insights and see our discussion on California issues, but they’ll do it on EDF’s other great blogs: Energy Exchange, Climate Talks (global climate), and Climate 411 (U.S. climate).
We’ll make the switch on Thursday, March 31. If you are a regular visitor to California Dream 2.0, please take some time to explore and subscribe to our other blogs and follow our California-specific work on Twitter at @EDF_CA. This will keep you informed on the great work we’re doing here in the state, that’s complementing – and influencing – our work across the globe.
The results of California and Quebec’s carbon market auction released today show that the market can operate as designed and continue sailing along.
Participants in the Feb. 17th auction, California and Quebec’s 6th joint auction, had an opportunity to bid on over 81 million carbon allowances. Of those:
- 71.5 million of those allowances were current vintage allowances (2016 and earlier), which regulated businesses can use this year or in any future year for compliance. 95% of current vintage allowances sold at the minimum floor price of $12.73. In the November 2015 auction, prices anticipated the 2016 floor price and sold at $12.73 although the floor price was about 60 cents less.
- Just over 10 million of those allowances are only available for use in 2019 and after. 93% of the 2019 vintage allowances sold at the floor price of $12.73.
These results show steady prices and average participation by regulated businesses. It is somewhat unusual that some current allowances did not sell at this auction. However, these auction results demonstrate an important feature of the California-Quebec market that safeguards against large price swings like those seen in other commodity markets: a minimum price floor in every auction that increases steadily each year. Read More
By: Mark Brownstein & Tim O'Connor
The nearly four-month disaster at the Aliso Canyon storage facility owned by Southern California Gas Company has spurred widespread calls to close the sprawling underground reservoir, and cast intense scrutiny on the 13 other similar facilities around California. But others, including Governor Jerry Brown and key state agencies, say the facilities may be needed to keep the electric grid running reliably.
Ironically, one reason for dependence on this fossil fuel is California’s renewable energy boom.
As things currently stand, there aren’t enough responsive resources on the grid to simultaneously manage the large daily swings in consumer electricity demand typical in California and swings in renewable energy output due to variations in time of day and weather.
A more robust grid in combination with innovative energy storage and energy management technology will eventually reduce these swings, but may take decades to fully deploy. Until then, fast-acting gas-fired generation is necessary for balancing system operations. This has become a rallying cry for SoCalGas and the rest of California’s oil and gas industry in the wake of Aliso Canyon. Read More
The joint carbon market in California and Quebec holds its first carbon market allowance auction of 2016 today.
The auction offers a good opportunity to reflect on some of the notable successes of the market in 2015.
The California-Quebec market is one of the prime examples of a successful carbon market that many countries will look to as they consider how to meet the commitments made in Paris, where countries successfully negotiated an ambitious climate deal that outlines multiple pathways for nations to use markets to meet their long-term goals.
Here are the top six successes of California and Quebec’s carbon market in 2015, in no particular order. Read More
California’s “big three” utilities, at the behest of state regulators, are in the process of examining and improving how they price electricity, including something called time-of-use (TOU) electricity pricing. This option – which rewards people who shift some of their electricity use to times of day when clean energy is abundant and electricity is cheaper – can help California families create safer communities while saving money on their utility bills. Mom’s Clean Air Force California mom Linda Hutchins-Knowles agrees, and recently wrote this opinion piece in the San Jose Mercury News encouraging others to adopt TOU.
Linda, like many moms, wears multiple hats. As a mother, she wants to help leave her children a safer, more sustainable word. As an advocate, she supports increasing our use of clean energy over dirty fossil fuels to help clean our air and environment as a whole. Finally, as a consumer, she wants to do these things without breaking the bank. Read More
This post was co-authored by Jonathan Camuzeaux and Derek Walker.
As we pointed out in August, no news is good news when it comes to California’s cap-and-trade quarterly allowance auctions, which have been running effectively and without hiccups since November 2012. That’s right, last Tuesday’s auction marks the three-year anniversary of the program’s first auction, and the fifth time that California and the Canadian province of Quebec have conducted a joint auction. Time flies by when you settle into a routine, and another set of consistent, stable results indicates once again that California has a strong, well-functioning cap-and-trade program.
Steady results equal a healthy carbon market
Over 75 million current vintage allowances – which covered entities can use for compliance as early as this year – were offered at last Tuesday’s auction, and 100% of these allowances were purchased at a price of $12.73. This price, known as the settlement price, is 63 cents above the floor price set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for this auction, and is in line with previous auctions where allowances have cleared at prices slightly above the floor. In the advanced auction for 2018 vintage allowances – which can only be used starting in 2018 – over 10 million allowances were offered and 100% of these were purchased at a price of $12.65. Read More