There is a statistical historical trend showing that hotter and drier California fire seasons have dramatically increased wildfire risk, according to a new report from university researchers that takes a look at the human-caused effects of the change.
The resignation of two wildfire victims from the tort claimants committee in Pacific Gas & Electric's bankruptcy case shows that victims are increasingly fed up with what has been at times a brutal approach by PG&E to victims and their case.
As California moves toward a 100-percent clean power supply, the rapid growth of wind and solar power has many people wondering how a modern, 24-7 society will still have reliable power. After all, wind and solar are only available when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining.
After decades in the slow lane, California's automobile manufacturing market is accelerating with the advent of the electric vehicle, but EV implementation is not without twists and turns as the California Public Utilities Commission lays out plans for how billions of dollars will be investe…
State legislators at a hearing in Sacramento this week were digging for an answer they couldn't get from investor-owned utilities: "When are we safe?"
California's retail electricity rates are high. However, some argue it's not about rates but the bills that electricity customers pay, and the Golden State isn't doing so bad in that department. Coloring the conversation is the fact that energy-efficiency measures, weather, usage and income …
State leaders must fundamentally restructure the way California sets prices for retail electricity if they don't want rates to continue to skyrocket—that was the consensus of an expert panel at a state Assembly hearing Feb. 19 that raised the alarm about rates in the future.
One of two office spaces of MCE Community Choice Energy, more than a decade after it was the first community choice aggregator to be formed, is nestled into downtown San Rafael, a city of about 60,000 residents in the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. A visit to the office by C…
Safety practices at investor-owned utilities in California were supposed to have a stronger link to the salaries of their top executives with the passage of AB 1054, wildfire-utility legislation that passed last year. But the plans filed by IOUs with the California Public Utilities Commissio…
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Assm. Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) opened a Jan. 22 hearing in Sacramento with a rather grave assessment of the state of California electricity service, mentioning projected capacity shortfalls, high retail rates, power shut-offs and the bankruptcy of Pacific Gas & Electric.
A state Assembly member seeks an audit of the California Public Utilities Commission's oversight of embattled utility Pacific Gas & Electric, the latest development in the Legislature's complicated relationship with PG&E.
A state legislator representing Oakland, along with other Democrats, introduced California's "Green New Deal"—a bill that would accelerate the state's efforts to combat climate change and link those efforts to a sweeping set of reforms tackling some of society's most difficult and long-lasti…
Going into 2020, a need for flexible power resources to ramp up the grid each day as solar generation wanes is largely confined to California, but it is a challenge that will expand across North America over the next decade, according to the entity responsible for the reliability of the bulk…
The public-safety power shut-offs have ended, but the nights are still long . . . and so we present our annual tradition of energy-themed carols to help see everyone through. NewsData will be closed the week of Dec. 23 through Dec. 27, and we will resume our usual publishing schedule the wee…
After a chaotic 2019 fire season in California that had an added layer of difficulty because of widespread power outages, the numbers are in, and it turns out there is some good news—the number of acres burned and the number of fatalities from wildfires were way down compared with last year.
An alleged corruption scandal at the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is revealing a tangled web that was perhaps weaved when certain parties began to deceive.
In celebration of the Thanksgiving Holiday, California Energy Markets surveyed its staff of energy reporters to find out what energy-related things they are thankful for this season.
A tense and passionate hearing this week at the California State Capitol regarding Pacific Gas & Electric's October power shut-offs made it clear that elected officials have been getting an earful from their constituents.
A diverse collection of stakeholders in California's energy future recently agreed that new approaches and wide-ranging ideas will be needed to confront the challenges the state faces from wildfires and widespread power shut-offs.
This week powerful winds buffeted California, as did widespread power outages, and other utilities joined Pacific Gas & Electric in being blamed for possibly causing destructive fires.
The finding Oct. 24 that a Pacific Gas & Electric transmission tower might be the source of yet another disastrous wildfire, coupled with serious fires in Southern California, made for a brutal week for grid users and utilities, who were already in the grip of a widespread public-safety …
The outrage expressed by Gov. Gavin Newsom over Pacific Gas & Electric's widespread power shut-off last week in Northern California, as well as the response from the state's top energy regulator, showed a curious reaction and allocation of blame for a state-government-approved event that…
Most everybody has had their power go out before, but rarely do you know it's happening ahead of time, as was the case with Pacific Gas & Electric's public-safety power shut-offs this week. However, even with months of lead-up, you don't fully believe it will happen until it does.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times for two natural gas-fired power plants in Yuba City, a working-class city with about 65,000 residents in the northern Central Valley.
In the wake of marches around the globe for action on climate change, Gov. Gavin Newsom took to a national stage to spread the word about California's climate success story. But a closer look at some of his victory pronouncements reveals a much more chaotic situation on the ground than his c…
There is little doubt that natural gas is rapidly becoming non grata in California through the efforts of powerful elected officials and environmental groups, but the breakup seems to be increasingly painful.
Climate change—for years a focus in California—is shaping up to be a central theme in a U.S. presidential election for the first time and was the topic this week of a grueling seven-hour public town hall on the CNN television network among Democratic candidates.
As excited as energy storage developers are about new prospects as a result of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Feb. 15 energy storage rule , it will now fall to grid operators around the country to craft their own tariffs allowing storage to participate in wholesale markets.
Leadership of the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power drew a strong backlash this week over a decision to delay approval of a 25-year power-purchase agreement with a commitment of up to $1.5 billion to replace natural gas-fired power plants with a massive solar/battery storage project.
Every year we take a one-week break at year’s end, so California Energy Markets will not be published on Friday, Dec. 30. Our next issue will appear Friday, Jan. 6, 2017. We wish all of you Happy Holidays and best wishes for the new year, and here present another annual tradition: energy-the…
We all remember the infrared video that plainly showed what was invisible to the naked eye—a huge cloud of methane pouring out of a well at Southern California Gas Co.’s Aliso Canyon gas-storage facility in northern Los Angeles County.
California offshore waters are known for surfers, sea lions and big waves, not ocean-bound wind turbines, but anticipation is high as a new leasing process for offshore sites by the federal government begins next year.
The chart at top right shows the first two weeks of participation by Arizona Public Service and Puget Sound Energy in the Western energy imbalance market.
In the final weeks of this year’s legislative session, the California Legislature struck far-reaching agreements on climate-change legislation at a time when it wasn’t clear that the political will existed for such a deal.
With the shortest day of the year approaching, this is a good time to review some new solar-technology developments that may brighten our future horizon. Two of them have to do with reducing the weight of photovoltaic equipment, while another is an advance in solar-roadway technology.
Emerging California solar overgeneration will bring dramatic changes to both market structure and the institutions that participate in or regulate West Coast power markets over the next five to 10 years.
CAISO’s market rules for how to allocate the cost of transmission in a regional grid have all the headaches of a gigantic dinner bill split among dozens of parties. With so much food on the table, it’s possible to have free riders, cost shifting, and an inequitable split.
In a recent post on the Energy Institute at Haas blog, James Bushnell took issue with a Los Angeles Times article that noted Californians are already paying billions for excess generation capacity the state doesn’t need. As a result, California’s retail electricity prices are about 50 percen…
No one died or was seriously injured in the April 21 daylong blackout in San Francisco, which was good news. But the incident highlights troubling conditions at some Pacific Gas & Electric substations in San Francisco.
California communities are contemplating the implications of extended public-safety power shut-offs, with elected officials saying they are hearing widespread apprehension from their constituents over the impacts of the planned outages.
Executives with California’s investor-owned utilities in second-quarter conference calls voiced support for Gov. Gavin Newsom and the AB 1054 legislation he signed in July that swiftly and dramatically reduced their financial risk from wildfires, shoring up their bottom lines.
Large hydroelectric facilities currently don’t count toward the state’s renewables portfolio standard, rankling rural utilities that say they will have to spend hundreds of millions of dollars for renewables they don’t need in coming years.
Southern California Gas Co. is facing pressure from some environmentalists and elected officials to close the Playa del Rey gas storage facility in Los Angeles, a situation reminiscent of another big headache for the company—the controversy over Aliso Canyon.