Author Archives: EDF Blogs

California Has Solid Data on Methane Leaks, Now They Need To Be Fixed

By Luis Bourgeois, Public Policy Intern, Oil and Gas Program

Until recently Californians were in the dark when it came to the state’s natural gas distributionBLOG PIC system and its pollution. But all that is changing now; for the first time ever, consistent data on the annual methane emissions from gas utilities is available for all to see. And what does this data show? California has room to reduce leaks and tighten the integrity of its gas delivery system.

A move toward better transparency

California’s recent step to boost disclosure of the amount of emissions leaked and number of repairs made to gas pipelines and other equipment is the product of Senate Bill 1371 (Leno) passed in 2014, and subsequent regulations from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). SB 1371 took this approach because methane, the main component of natural gas, is a powerful climate pollutant that puts our environment and communities at risk with a leak-prone system across the natural gas transmission, distribution and storage sectors. Read More »

Posted in Methane, Natural Gas| Leave a comment

New EPA Guidelines: An Opportunity to Reduce Smog, Protect Public Health

By Peter Zalzal and David Lyon

With families across the country starting back to school this week, the official summer season may be gone, but the ozone season is still in full swing.

Ozone, more commonly known as “smog” is a harmful air pollutant that results in respiratory ailments like asthma and can even lead to premature death. For too many Americans, ozone pollution makes the activities that we enjoy doing outdoors in the summer difficult or even impossible.  And in recent years, ozone—once a summertime phenomenon impacting mostly larger cities—now affects rural parts of the country and can persist throughout the year.  In fact, rural Wyoming and Utah have experienced elevated ozone levels in the winter on par with some of the larger cities in the country.  Read More »

Posted in Air Quality, Natural Gas| Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Clean Energy Conference Roundup: August 2016

ConferenceEach month, the Energy Exchange rounds up a list of top clean energy conferences around the country. Our list includes conferences at which experts from the EDF Clean Energy Program will be speaking, plus additional events that we think our readers may benefit from marking on their calendars.

Top clean energy conferences featuring EDF experts in August:

Aug. 21-26:  ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings (Pacific Grove, CA)

Speaker: Abbey Brown, Clean Energy Project Manager

  • The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) is a non-profit that advances energy efficiency policies, programs, technology, investment, and behavior. The summer study will be ACEEE’s 19th biennial conference about building energy efficiency. A diverse group of professionals from around the world will gather to discuss the technological basis for, and practical implementation of, reducing energy use and the climate impacts associated with buildings. The event enables sharing of ideas and dialog among leading thinkers, visionaries, and luminaries, in the midst of a magnificent natural setting. On the first day of the conference, Abbey Brown will speak about using outreach to advance regulation and drive efficiency.

Read More »

Posted in Conference Roundup| Comments are closed

How More Transparent Electricity Pricing Can Help Increase Clean Energy

By: Beia Spiller and Kristina Mohlin

The price of most goods we purchase is CostPriceImagegenerally based on the costs associated with the goods' production, including the raw materials used to generate them, the labor associated with their manufacturing, and so on. However, when it comes to pricing residential electricity, many regulators choose to use a flat price per unit of electricity (kilowatt-hours, or kWh) that unfortunately fails to adequately reflect the underlying costs of generating and delivering energy to our homes.

This creates incorrect incentives for conservation and investments in distributed energy resources (like rooftop solar, energy storage, and demand response). Getting these incentives right can go a long way in creating more opportunity for efficiency and clean energy resources.

Pricing electricity generation

The cost of generating electricity from large-scale power plants varies significantly over the course of a day. When demand is low, electricity providers call upon the most efficient and inexpensive power plants to produce electricity. As demand increases, they must also utilize more inefficient and expensive power plants. So, for the price of generation to accurately reflect these costs, it too must vary with the time of day. Time-variant pricing charges customers more for using electricity during periods of high demand (such as during hot afternoons) and less when demand is not as great. This pricing system is an accurate reflection of generation costs.

In contrast, flat rates that don’t vary over time incentivize customers to consume more electricity when it’s most valuable to them, even though consuming during times of high demand places a larger cost on the system. Thus, the current, static pricing system creates incorrect incentives for conservation and electricity use. Read More »

Posted in Electricity Pricing| Comments are closed

Clean Energy Conference Roundup: July 2016

rp_conference-300x2001-300x200-1-300x200.jpgEach month, the Energy Exchange rounds up a list of top clean energy conferences around the country. Our list includes conferences at which experts from the EDF Clean Energy Program will be speaking, plus additional events that we think our readers may benefit from marking on their calendars.

Top clean energy conferences featuring EDF experts in July:

July 26-28: NY Rev Summit (New York, NY)
Speaker: Rory Christian, Director, New York Clean Energy

  • Building on New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative, Infocast’s second REVolution summit will focus on how utilities are planning for the future, and how they will explore both the promise and the practical development of microgrids, renewable energy, and emerging opportunities for third party providers. The summit will also consider various state efforts to finance and encourage clean energy markets sufficiently to ensure a robust, sustainable power delivery system. Read More »
Posted in Aliso Canyon, California, Conference Roundup, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, DC| Comments are closed

As SoCal Braces for Aliso Canyon-Related Blackouts, These Energy Programs Can Help


blackout2By Jayant Kairam and Timothy O’Connor

Adding insult to injury, Californians learned this spring that the disastrous four-month methane leak at the sprawling Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility could result in a new problem: outages.

The failure at Southern California Gas Company’s massive storage site exposed a critical weakness in the state’s energy system. Densely populated Southern California is over-dependent on natural gas from a single provider.

As a result, a vast area stretching from San Diego in the south to Los Angeles and San Bernardino County in the east may face power and gas shortages during the hot summer and cold winter months, a recent report by a group of state regulatory agencies warned. Read More »

Posted in California, Demand Response, Electricity Pricing, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Gas to Clean, Grid Modernization, Methane, Natural Gas| Comments are closed
  • From time to time, the Energy Exchange blog includes posts from infrequent contributors, such as other EDF scientists and staff. Since these authors vary, we use this standard author bio profile for guest posts. For more information about this author, please see his/her link at the beginning of the post.

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