The Energy Overseer
Greenwire 1st Quarter 2006 Articles and Archives
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03/31/06 Dearth of emissions credits creates So. Calif. plant-licensing woes
At least large three power plants recently proposed in Southern California are having problems securing enough air emission reduction credits (ERCs) to win site licenses. A shortage of available emissions offsets, especially for fine particles, is causing price spikes for credits and forcing developers to be more creative in meeting pollution standards. As a result, air regulators are considering rule changes to reopen its bank of emissions credits to new energy projects.
03/31/06 Californians explore link between water, energy conservation
California could achieve most of its ambitious energy efficiency goals for regulated utilities in the next two years at a greatly reduced cost by targeting water conservation, experts told several agencies at a hearing this week. Figures indicate that water-related energy use accounts for 19 percent of total electricity consumed in the state, 30 percent of natural gas, and 88 billion gallons of diesel fuel each year.
02/24/06 Lawmakers criticize governor's water-fee plan
SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposal to collect user fees for a new $5 billion water investment fund found little support and much criticism during a hearing this week of the California Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee. The fee -- a monthly capacity charge ranging from $3 for households to $10 for larger water users -- is one component of the $35 billion in new water spending that the governor has proposed.
02/13/06 Calif. board assesses start of e-waste recycling
California's new program to fund the recycling of computer monitors, television screens and other electronic devices raised over $60 million in consumer fees during 2005. The figures from the California Integrated Management Waste Board represent preliminary results for the upfront recycling fee program that began in January 2005. During the same period, e-waste collectors and recyclers have sent invoices to the state totaling $26 million for diverting about 54 million pounds of electronic waste from landfills.
02/08/06 Oil production tax tops list of ballot proposals
California oil producers would pay a severance tax of 1.5 to 6 percent depending on the price of oil under one of dozens of electoral initiatives that state voters might consider this year. Also going through the ballot qualification process is a measure that would allow the sale of $5.4 billion in bonds for water projects and a proposal to prevent the state from diverting transportation tax collections for other uses. In addition, there are four separate measures to limit state and local use of eminent domain powers for economic development.
02/03/06 Western utilities propose transmission, pipeline paths
Western utilities and other groups have proposed hundreds of "energy corridors" for electric transmission and natural gas pipelines in 11 states under a provision of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. If all of the newly proposed pathways for corridor designation were approved, what is currently a limited area of special consideration would become a massive cross-hatch of corridors. Look for the entire story here.
01/25/06 Ill. regulators approve power auctions, add ratepayer protections
Overcoming objections from the governor, the state attorney general and ratepayer advocate groups, the Illinois Commerce Commission yesterday unanimously approved plans to conduct power-supply auctions to meet the full requirements for four of its major electric utilities starting next January. But to ensure that ratepayers are not hit with substantially higher power costs after the lifting of a nine-year rate freeze at the end of 2006, the ICC said it would review the reasonableness of contracts and establish a state-level wholesale market-monitoring unit within the agency.
01/23/06 Court-ordered NW spills may cost $60M this year, BPA exec says
The latest judicial ruling in a long-running dispute over Northwest salmon recovery efforts is expected to cost Bonneville Power Administration an additional $60 million in foregone power generation revenues this year, according to a BPA executive. Steve Oliver, BPA's vice president of generation supply, told an industry conference last week that U.S. District Judge James Redden's Dec. 29 order to continue spilling water over dams on the Snake and Columbia rivers could adversely affect system flexibility and reduce surplus power-sales revenues.
01/18/06 Project failures impede Calif. efforts to meet bold RPS goals
Between 20 and 30 percent of renewable energy projects that sign contracts with electric utilities are likely to never reach operation or otherwise fail to meet expected performance metrics, a new report to the California Energy Commission warns. Reliance on pre-commercial technologies, including a proposed 500 MW solar collector project in the desert, could result in a 50 percent or higher failure rate.
01/06/06 Governor, lawmakers weigh options for troubled CalFed project
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger pledged $35 billion to water and flood control projects as one component of his proposed $222 billion "Strategic Growth Plan" during a politically conciliatory State of the State address last night. The plan would leverage $9 billion in general obligation bonds with $26 billion in non-state funding resources to improve water storage and delivery capacity and to bolster deteriorating levees in the Sacramento region. Still unknown is what the administration intends to do about the structure, funding and governance issues surrounding CalFed -- the troubled joint state-federal effort to manage crucial water supplies from the San Francisco Bay-San Joaquin River Delta region.
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