With the costs of solar continuing to fall, and wind still one of the cheapest sources of new electricity around, California should have no problem hitting its 50 percent clean energy target by 2030. But getting to 100 percent — the goal floated by Senate leader Kevin de León in a bill last month — would be more complicated.
A new analysis of California’s carbon market finds that low demand could continue for the next year and a half, but eventually rebound to the tune of $8 billion through 2020. Based on state data on supply and demand, Chris Busch of advisory firm Energy Innovation said last week that revenues might stay well below their full potential through mid-2018, then rise to 70 to 80 percent through 2020, when the cap ratchets down further.
California, the world’s sixth-largest economy — literally the engine that drives the US economy — also determines the fuel economy of the nation, via the California Waiver, a special deal with the EPA, dating back to the 1970s. Even rolling back the 54.5 mpg requirement is not going to have as much impact, because there is the California Waiver.
Across the nation, there’s few topics are hotter with state utility regulators than grid modernization. A new paper by Energy Innovation offers guidelines for designing and evaluating expensive utility modernization proposals.
California’s latest auction of greenhouse gas permits saw low demand, hurting state revenue, according to figures released yesterday. The Feb. 22 auction sold just 16.5 percent of the 75 million allowances put up for auction by California; its trading partner, Quebec; and utilities that receive allowances to sell.
California’s cap-and-trade program limped through another weak auction of pollution permits last month, according to results provided by state regulators Wednesday. Demand for the permits, which are required to release greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, has fluctuated over the last year amid questions about the program’s long-term viability.
California’s carbon market generated little interest from buyers at last month’s permit auction, results released on Wednesday showed, raising concern about the program’s ability to deliver funding for projects like the state’s bullet train. California along with its carbon market partner Quebec sold 18 percent of the over 65 million permits it offered up to businesses at the sale, which was held on February 22.
The Fletcher Forum interviewed Mr. Hal Harvey, CEO of Energy Innovation (a San Francisco-based energy and environmental policy firm) at the 2017 Tufts Energy Conference.
Any changes or repeal of President Obama’s signature Clean Power Plan will depend heavily on the outcome of a legal challenge by a federal appeals court in Washington D.C. If the court rules that the EPA does not have the power to regulate, Pruitt and the Trump administration could try and simply rip the plan up. But if the rule is found to be legal, then Pruitt will have to find a way to either change some provisions or begin the long and laborious process of writing an entirely new plan with much less ambitious targets.
Repealing the Clean Power Plan would have significant impacts on the United States’ economy and the health of its citizens, according to new analysis from Energy Innovation, a clean energy think tank.