California plan to combat climate change pleases few
PBS – June 24
The California Air Resources Board last Thursday opened a hearing on a plan for the state to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. Board staff estimates it would reduce petroleum demand across the economy and the use of fossil natural gas in buildings by 91% by 2045. Doing so would require 30 times as many electric vehicles on the road compared to today, 6 times more electric appliances in homes, 4 times more wind and solar generation, and 60 times more hydrogen. Certain environmental groups, academics, and people who live in heavily polluted neighborhoods said the plan doesn’t do enough to reduce the production or use of fossil fuels. Meanwhile some business, industry, and labor groups said the transition could raise prices and hurt workers.
Pay microgrid owners to boost California’s grid? Credits and ‘price machines’ proposed
Microgrid Knowledge – June 27
Two separate proposals floated last week before California regulators open the door for financial incentives that would encourage microgrid owners to step in and help out when the electric grid is falling short. Fuel cell company Bloom Energy offered the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) a specific plan to provide credits to those who use their microgrids, fuel cells, and other distributed energy resources to bolster the grid. Meanwhile, the staff of the CPUC Energy Division published a white paper calling for creation of a “unified, universally accessible, dynamic economic signal” that would spur use of microgrids and DERs in flexible demand practices.
Solar and wind exceeded 10% of global power generation in 2021
reNews – June 28
Wind and solar accounted for a 10.2% share of power generation in 2021, the first time these technologies have provided more than 10% of global power, whilst also surpassing nuclear energy’s contribution, according to BP. In its 2021 Statistical Review of World Energy, BP found that solar and wind capacity continued to grow rapidly in 2021, increasing by 226 GW, close to the record increase of 236 GW seen in 2020.
NREL investigates recycling strategies for solar tech, need for less materials
Solar Industry Magazine – June 27
In a new comprehensive literature review, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory have discovered that alternatives to recycling may have untapped potential to build an effective circular economy for solar photovoltaic and battery technologies. These strategies include reducing the use of virgin materials in manufacturing, reusing for new applications, and extending product life spans.
New Mexico inks trust land leases for massive wind project
Associated Press – June 27
New Mexico’s public land commissioner on Monday signed nearly a dozen leases that will clear the way for a major renewable energy developer to erect wind turbines across 230 square miles of state trust land. Officials are billing Pattern Energy’s planned development in Lincoln, Torrance, and San Miguel counties as the largest wind energy project in the western hemisphere. The new leases will be part of the larger SunZia project, which will ultimately have a capacity of 3,000 MW to power homes in more populated markets in the West.
CPUC approves SDG&E-owned microgrids for resiliency
Renewable Energy World – June 24
San Diego Gas and Electric announced that four microgrids equipped with energy storage will be added to the San Diego region to help the state meet high energy demand, particularly on hot summer days and in the peak evening hours after solar power dissipates. The utility received approval on June 23 from the CPUC to build these projects, which will add a total of approximately 39 MW/180 MWh of storage capacity at four company substations.
Google’s 24/7 carbon-free energy deal for its California offices ‘could be replicable model’
Energy Storage News – June 23
California community choice aggregator Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) has signed PPAs with Google under which SVCE will serve the load of Google’s Mountain View and Sunnyvale offices to match demand with carbon-free energy for at least 92% of hours per year. Energy storage is a vital component of the deal and the resource mix involved, said Don Bray, director of energy services and community relations for SVCE.