Energy Exchange

The most important thing California can do with its clean energy could be to share it

Not often is running the electric grid as simple as applying lessons from childhood. Right now it is ─ California is learning to share with its neighbors. A bill currently in front of the Legislature from California Assemblymember Chris Holden, AB 813, aims to build a better trading platform to share California’s extra solar power with nearby states like Oregon, Washington, and Nevada, which would then share their extra wind, solar, and hydropower resources with California.

It is like the lunch table you sat around as a kid – one where you can trade that banana pudding that overflows at your house for one of your neighbor’s chocolate chip cookies. It’s a delicious deal, where everybody wins.

That deal just got better. Holden’s office yesterday released new language which represents an important, positive step in the process of creating a regional electric grid for the West. This includes key requirements and protections to ensure a regional grid lowers harmful greenhouse gas emissions and supports California’s climate and energy goals – helping the state and its neighbors to move towards a low-carbon future. Read More »

Posted in California, Clean Energy, Energy Innovation, Regional Grid / Read 2 Responses

The two clean energy bills that could take California’s climate action to the next level

Lawmakers recently addressed many critical issues for California: the housing shortage, parks bond, and early on in this year’s legislative session, climate change.

We urge Governor Brown to sign the important pieces of clean energy legislation that made it to his desk, including AB 1239 to support electric vehicle charging and AB 523 to protect clean energy funding for disadvantaged communities).

We are thrilled about three recent enactments: AB 1400 disallows Energy Commission funding of diesel generators in microgrids, and SB 242 and AB 1284, which standardize best practice guidelines for third parties administering Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) projects that finance energy efficiency upgrades or renewables installation for homes and businesses.

However, we can’t help but note that the biggest issues in electricity were left on the table to be further developed and voted on this fall and in 2018: SB 100, and AB 813. This extra time will give us the full, transparent, and deliberate legislative process that stakeholders were looking for in the last few weeks of session. So, what would these bills do? Read More »

Posted in California, Clean Energy / Read 1 Response

California can prove a clean energy economy is a strong economy with SB 100

The California State Assembly faces an enormous opportunity when they come back from summer recess today: to drive the state towards 100 percent clean energy by 2045.

It comes in the form of SB 100, a bill that would accelerate the state’s current Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requirement from 50 percent to 60 percent by 2030 and set a statewide policy to get to 100 percent clean energy by 2045. In the wake of recent legislation to extend a cap and trade system for greenhouse gases, this effort will help us to reduce climate and air pollution from the electricity sector.

California is already ahead of schedule in reaching its goal of 50 percent renewables by 2030. In fact, according to the California Public Utilities Commission, utilities are already on contract for an average of 43 percent renewable energy by 2020 – a huge accomplishment worthy of applause.

The difficulty is that once these targets are met, we anticipate clean energy development and installation will slow, meaning fewer clean energy jobs and less investment in California. We need SB 100’s ambitious goal of 100 percent renewables to keep up economic growth. Read More »

Posted in California, Clean Energy, Energy Innovation / Read 3 Responses

California’s clean-energy leadership continues

California is a leader, and has earned that title – it is the largest state economy in the U.S. and the sixth-largest economy in the world.  Forward-thinking clean energy policies are the backbone of California’s prosperity, creating jobs and businesses for the state while cutting emissions. While the presidential administration assaults critical environmental protections nationwide, clean energy momentum is unstoppable. California’s leadership is committed and poised to move forward.

Energy policy drives economic growth

Most energy policy is done at the state level, reflecting that energy management is a fundamental concern for local residents and their livelihoods. How we make, move, and use power can create jobs and protect citizens’ rights to clean air and energy choice. The following bills currently in front of the California State Legislature illuminate the state’s path forward: Read More »

Posted in California, Clean Energy, Electric Vehicles, Energy Efficiency, Solar Energy / Read 1 Response

Post-Legislative Session, California is Closer to Important New Clean Energy Laws

ca-leg-buildingAfter a long and hard-fought legislative session, the dust is settling in California’s capitol. Many forward-looking clean energy bills sit on Gov. Brown’s desk, while others did not make it that far. It’s a time when legislative staff and advocates step back, breathe a sigh of relief, and take stock of what has been accomplished, what was lost along the way, and – most importantly – what remains to be done.

AB 1937 (Gomez) – a bill to avoid new natural gas plants in heavily burdened communities – and other key energy bills await the governor’s signature. Efforts to expand the entity that manages our electric grid, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), also continue. For the state to realize its vision of an economy powered by clean energy resources, it is crucial Gov. Brown sign these key energy bills and work closely with the legislature to expand CAISO.

Read More »

Posted in Air Quality, California, Demand Response, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

How a Western Regional Electric Grid Can Bring us into the 21st Century

WestUS

UPDATE: Since the July 2016 publication of this original blog post, California Gov. Jerry Brown announced that he will wait until January 2017 to introduce legislation to expand California’s Independent System Operator (CAISO), which manages the state’s electric grid, beyond its borders.

The governor’s plan is good news for California and the other western states. With only a few weeks left in California’s legislative session, stakeholders were still working out remaining questions about how a western regional grid can deliver the significant benefits to the West’s economy and the environment (as shown in the SB 350 studies). 

Stakeholder groups, including Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), lawmakers, and regulators covered a lot of ground this session. Working together, we identified the important issues related to successfully implementing a western regional grid that should go into legislation.

EDF strongly thanks the governor’s office and legislative leaders for the focus and time dedicated to regionalization, and looks forward to working diligently over the next few months to help develop the benefits of a regional energy market for California and its neighbors.  Read More »

Posted in Energy Innovation, Grid Modernization / Comments are closed