The state’s electric power sources are poised to get cleaner still. In 15 years, electric utilities that power California’s lights and cellphones would need to get fully half their electricity from renewable sources, if Senate Bill 350, which is working its way through the Legislature, passes. The goal, often called a renewable portfolio standard, can almost certainly be met, though it will require utilities to make behind-the-scenes adjustments as they juggle different types of energy. “Increasing the renewable portfolio standard to 50 percent is completely doable by 2030,” said Severin Borenstein, an energy economist at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. “Exactly how we do it and how much cost we’re willing to bear is an open question, but I don’t think it would be a huge cost.”
MidAmerican Energy can move ahead with its $900 million plan to build up to 552 megawatts of wind energy generation, under an order the Iowa Utilities Board issued Friday. The board order offers a settlement on how MidAmerican, an investor-owned utility, would be reimbursed from consumers for its investment in the wind energy project, called Wind X.
The point of this article is to assert that wind not only can but will replace nuclear as a source of carbon free, risk free energy, with no fuel cost and no externalities. The time has come to acknowledge that spinning wind turbines are the “air apparent.” Given a billion dollars to invest in power plants, which would you rather own, operate and collect income from? Which facility would you rather have in your back yard or your view?
The Obama administration released big new climate rules this month with much fanfare, hailing them as “historic,” an “incredible economic opportunity” and “wicked cool.” But not long ago, the administration expressed hope it would never have to write those regulations. In the early days of Obama’s presidency, when an economywide climate bill seemed possible on Capitol Hill, the administration’s top environmental officials said U.S. EPA rules weren’t the ideal route for tackling climate change.
alifornia, the Netherlands and Quebec will cooperate to promote cars with zero tailpipe emissions, they said today. California EPA announced the launch of the International Zero-Emission Vehicle Alliance. The three partners said they also want to recruit other countries and sub-national jurisdictions to join the effort.
Up to $44 trillion could be going up in smoke if the world does not act on climate change, according to the latest piece of research from U.S. banking giant Citigroup. The report – Energy Darwinism II: Why a Low Carbon Future Doesn’t Have to Cost the Earth — has forecast that spending on energy will hit around $200 trillion in the next 25 years. The study then examines two scenarios: one that Citi describe as an “‘inaction’ on climate change scenario”, and another that looks at what could happen if a low carbon, “different energy mix” is pursued.
Texas leads the nation in total output of wind energy, according to two new reports from the federal Department of Energy. The Lone Star State has installed more than 14,000 megawatts of power – more than twice as much as California, the next-highest state. The studies also show Texas has more wind capacity than all but five countries worldwide.
Europe’s wind turbine makers are becoming top performers in the stock market as orders surge and the industry enjoys the fruits of cost cutting in years past. Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the biggest manufacturer of the machines, on Wednesday detailed record first-half orders as profits exceeded analyst forecasts. That followed record production at German rival Nordex SE and a doubling of profits at Spain’s Gamesa Corp. Tecnologica SA.
Calif. program subsidized more efficient energy use for both rich and poor. Guess whose habits didn’t change?
A 2005 subsidy to encourage more efficient energy use in sunny California worked remarkably well to reduce energy usage in lower-income communities, a new study determined. But the program had little effect on people’s behavior in cooler and wealthier coastal residences, so the study raises questions about the program’s overall cost-effectiveness. Because substantial rebates were paid to the richer, coast-dwelling participants in the program, which is no longer in effect, the study’s author concludes that it was not as cost-efficient at reducing carbon emissions as it may have been.
California’s four-year drought is hitting the state’s agricultural sector hard economically. The statewide impact to agriculture and related industries is $2.74 billion, up from $2.2 billion in 2014, according to a report out today from the University of California, Davis, Center for Watershed Sciences. The state’s agricultural economy will lose about $1.84 billion and 10,100 seasonal jobs because of the drought, with the Central Valley hardest hit, the report says. That’s about 30 percent more workers and cropland out of production than last year. Most idled land is in the Tulare Basin.