Topic: Energy
News
Oct. 7, 2017

San Diego Gas & Electric filed a request with state regulators late Friday afternoon, asking for an 11 percent rate increase in 2019 and running through 2022.

The utility estimates a typical residential customer using 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity each month would see an increase of $6.13 and a typical customer using 25 therms of natural gas would spend $7.57 more on a monthly bill.

If granted in full, the proposal represents a $218 million increase over 2018 rates.

News
Oct. 6, 2017

A California Energy Commission committee is urging the state to reject a proposal to build a new natural gas plant in Ventura County.

Called the Puente Energy project, the 262-megawatt power plant would be owned and operated by NRG, a Houston-based electricity company. NRG contracted with Southern California Edison to supply power to the utility.

In what the regulators themselves called an “unusual” statement, the two-member committee said that the proposed plant, set for construction on Mandalay Bay in Oxnard, conflicted with state laws and goals for communities and the environment.

News
Oct. 5, 2017

Energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions decreased by 89 million metric tons (MMmt), from 5,259 MMmt in 2015 to 5,170 MMmt in 2016. Although real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 1.5% over that period, other factors contributing to energy-related CO2 emissions more than offset the growth in GDP, leading to a 1.7% decline in energy-related CO2. These factors include the following: •A decline in the carbon intensity of the energy supply (CO2/British thermal units [Btu]) of 1.7%

•A 1.4% decline in energy intensity (Btu/GDP)

Combining these two factors, the overall carbon intensity of the economy (CO2/GDP) declined by 3.1%. Emissions have declined in 6 out of the past 10 years, and energy‐related CO2 emissions in 2016 were 823 MMmt (14%) below 2005 levels.

News
Oct. 5, 2017

A bungled transition from coal to clean energy has left resource-rich Australia with an unwanted crown: the highest power prices in the world.

New Yorkers pay half as much as Sydneysiders to keep the lights on, despite Australia boasting among the world’s largest coal and natural gas reserves, as well as ideal conditions for clean power generation. A decade of political dithering and climate policy missteps have set its patchwork power system adrift, ratcheting up manufacturing costs and hurting consumers with a doubling in electricity prices since last year and rising risks of blackouts.

News
Sept. 27, 2017

A study released Tuesday by economists at UC Davis shows that families who own fuel-efficient cars tend to buy big, powerful gas guzzlers as their second vehicle, largely defeating the purpose of the little petrol sippers in their garages.

The researchers, who studied California Department of Motor Vehicle trends for two-car households over several years, likened the phenomena to the “diet soda effect,” in which people who buy diet drinks reward themselves by wolfing down greasy french fries.

. . . Not only that, Rapson said, but because of the fuel-cost savings, the owners of the fuel-efficient cars tend to drive them more, which ultimately leads to more gasoline being burned, thereby counteracting the decision not to drive the hulking sport utility vehicle.

These tendencies reduce by up to 60 percent the expected future gas savings from increased fuel economy in two-car households, said the study, which was funded by the California Air Resources Board. That’s the equivalent of saving 68 gallons a year compared with between 24 and 27 gallons, according to the study co-authored by James Archsmith of UC Davis, Kenneth Gillingham of Yale and Christopher Knittel of MIT.

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