Feb. 7, 2017
Utilities must buy back the electricity at market rates, but they still have this vast – and growing – infrastructure of power plants and utility lines to finance and maintain. The more the utilities raise their rates to pay for these “stranded costs,” the more consumers opt out and install solar panels. That raises the per-capita costs of maintaining that infrastructure, which raises electricity prices – and leads to more people opting out of the system. Advances in battery storage could further diminish the need for power plants that are financed 30 or 40 years into the future.
Feb. 5, 2017
California has a big — and growing — glut of power, an investigation by the Los Angeles Times has found. The state’s power plants are on track to be able to produce at least 21% more electricity than it needs by 2020, based on official estimates. And that doesn’t even count the soaring production of electricity by rooftop solar panels that has added to the surplus. . . Californians are paying a higher premium to switch on lights or turn on electric stoves. In recent years, the gap between what Californians pay versus the rest of the country has nearly doubled to about 50%.
Jan. 30, 2017
The facility at the utility’s Mira Loma substation in Ontario contains nearly 400 Tesla PowerPack units on a 1.5-acre site, which can store enough energy to power 2,500 homes for a day or 15,000 homes for four hours. The utility will use the collection of lithium-ion batteries, which look like big white refrigerators, to gather electricity at night and other off-peak hours so that the electrons can be injected back into the grid when power use jumps.
Jan. 20, 2017
"Two years ago, California Senate leader Kevin de León pushed through a law requiring the state to generate half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
On Thursday, he said there was a mistake in the legislation, SB 350 — it didn't go far enough."
Researchers looked at three key California climate and clean energy policies: 1) cap and trade, which established a market designed to reduce carbon emissions from major polluters; 2) the renewables portfolio standard (RPS), which calls for California to get 33 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, growing to 50 percent by 2030; and 3) energy efficiency programs run by investor-owned utilities and overseen by the Public Utilities Commission.