NewEnergyNews: 09/01/2021 - 10/01/2021


Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.



  • TTTA Wednesday-ORIGINAL REPORTING: California Focuses On Rising Electricity Rates
  • TTTA Wednesday- Transition – Coal To Molten Salt New Energy Storage

  • Monday Study – The Biden Solar Future Blueprint

  • Weekend Video: This Is NOT How To Fight The Climate Crisis
  • Weekend Video: The Biden Solar Plan
  • Weekend Video: California’s Rooftop Solar Fight

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Thinking About Having Kids In A Climate Crisis
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-New Energy Offers Big Opportunity For Women


  • TTTA Wednesday-ORIGINAL REPORTING: Distributed Energy Resources Need A Whole New System
  • TTTA Wednesday-Hollywoodland Targets 100% New Energy By 2035
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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish



    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart




      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.


    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

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  • FRIDAY WORLD, September 17:
  • The Climate Crisis Will Move People
  • Global New Energy Ready To Boom

    Friday, September 17, 2021

    The Climate Crisis Will Move People

    Climate change could trigger internal migration of 216 mln people - World Bank

    Andrea Shalal, September 13, 2021 (Reuters)

    “Without immediate action to combat climate change, rising sea levels, water scarcity and declining crop productivity could force 216 million people to migrate within their own countries by 2050…[According to the World Bank’s Groundswell Part 2 : Acting on Internal Climate Migration,] climate migration ‘hotspots’ will emerge as soon as 2030 and intensify by 2050, hitting the poorest parts of the world hardest…

    Sub-Saharan Africa alone would account for 86 million of the internal migrants, with 19 million more in North Africa… 40 million migrants were expected in South Asia and 49 million in East Asia and the Pacific…[S]ea-level rise threatens rice production, aquaculture and fisheries, which could create an out-migration hotspot in Vietnam's low-lying Mekong Delta. But the Red River Delta and central coast region, where those people are likely to flee, face their own threats, including severe storms…

    Conflicts and health and economic crises such as those unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic could compound the situation…And the number of climate migrants could be much higher since the report does not cover most high-income countries, countries in the Middle East and small island states, or migration to other countries…[If regional and national governments and the global community] act now to reduce greenhouse gases, close development gaps and restore ecosystems…[it] could reduce that migration number by 80% to 44 million people…” click here for more

    Global New Energy Ready To Boom

    ICLN: Clean Energy Is The Internet 10 Years Ago

    September 4, 2021 (Loft Capital Management)

    “…In 2009, only 26% of the world population used the internet. Today, 60% of the global population has access to internet, a 131% increase. Recent data illustrates that renewables make up ~26% of global electricity generation. That number is expected to increase to 45% by 2040…The iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (NASDAQ: ICLN) provides investors the opportunity to diversify their money across 83 companies that produce energy from solar, wind, and other renewable sources. The global renewable energy market was valued at $928B in 2017 and is anticipated to be $1.5T in 2025…

    …ICLN could make investors money both in the short and long term; however, those who buy and hold for the long haul will benefit the most…Founded in 2008, ICLN spotlights five primary sectors, which are the following: Electric Utilities (39% of portfolio), Semiconductor Equipment (15% of portfolio), Renewable Electricity (14% of portfolio), Heavy Electrical Equipment (14% of portfolio), and Electrical Components and Equipment (9% of portfolio). As of September 1st, ICLN has $6.3B assets under management and bears an expense ratio of 0.41%...

    …2020 was a very strong year for clean energy ETFs as a whole, with ICLN returning ~140%. This was predominantly a result of President Biden's vocal support of the clean energy sector. ICLN has yielded -18% YTD, placing the fund in a group of the 100 lowest YTD ETF performers out >2,200 U.S. ETFs…[and] clean energy is still very young… [Three other strong funds are] First Trust Nasdaq Clean Edge Green Energy Index Fund (QCLN), Alps Clean Energy ETF (ACES), and Invesco WilderHill Clean Energy ETF (PBW)…” click here for more

    Wednesday, September 15, 2021

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: California Focuses On Rising Electricity Rates

    CPUC and Stakeholders Strive to Stop Spiking Rates

    Herman K. Trabish, March 9, 2021 (California Current)

    Editor’s note: The latest installment in the universal regulatory discussion of the “you get what you pay for” principle.

    California will not let its skyrocketing electricity rates threaten reliability or its policy goals, California Public Utilities Commission President Marybel Batjer told stakeholders during a Feb. 24 full commission hearing.

    The costs of California’s policy mandates are driving rates up faster than inflation and straining the budgets of customers made more vulnerable by the recession, stakeholders and CPUC Staff agreed during the day-long session. Additionally, the costs of wildfires, Net Energy Metering (NEM) and other distributed energy resources incentives are taxing the budgets of vulnerable customers, making new approaches to affordability urgent.

    Protecting ratepayers “will require aggressive actions,” CPUC Staff’s “Evaluation of Electric Costs, Rates and Equity Issues” reported. Utilities responded with ways to cut wildfire costs and raise revenues outside rates and stakeholders proposed ways to financially support distributed energy resources and electric vehicle growth.

    Breakthrough rate designs could ease the burden of rising costs and rates on low and moderate income customers which began rising faster than inflation in 2013 and bills continue to grow annually, staff reported. By 2030, residential rates for PG&E will be 40% higher than if they had risen at the rate of inflation from 2013. SCE rates would be 20% higher and SDG&E rates would be 70% higher…

    Distributed energy and EVs can reduce customers’ utility bills but up-front costs are a barrier to low income customer participation, staff found. And the middle class may soon need help because “rates are growing so much faster than wages,” Jennifer Dowdell, a senior energy expert with The Utility Reform Network, warned.

    Wildfire mitigation costs, transmission development costs, rising transmission use charges, the state’s increasingly ambitious emissions reduction goals and the state-mandated NEM 2.0 program compensating customers for electricity their distributed resources send to utilities drive up rates… click here for more

    Transition – Coal To Molten Salt New Energy Storage

    How A Colorado Coal Plant Could Become A Massive Battery For Renewable Energy

    Sam Brasch, September 7, 2021 (Colorado Public Radio)

    “…The Hayden Generating Station, a coal-fired power plant owned by Xcel Energy, accounts for more than half the property tax base for the local school district, fire district and cemetery district…[and a source] of high-paying jobs…The town could soon test whether a buzzy new idea could help it ditch coal without losing its economic benefits…Xcel Energy has proposed transforming the power plant into a massive battery to bank electricity generated by renewable energy…

    If the idea works, it could be a case study for other communities trying to preserve jobs and property taxes as the world shifts to cleaner electricity…There’s no question coal is on the way out…Last January, Xcel announced it would accelerate the retirement of the power plant…[from 2036 to 2030 and rapidly expand wind, solar, and] energy storage in Colorado…

    …[A] remodeled Hayden Station could help solve the renewable storage problem…[by adding] a tank full of salt and melt it at times when the grid fills with excess renewable energy…When energy demand outpaces supply, one of the existing steam turbines could then transform the stored heat back into [150 MW for 10 hours of] electricity…[The key is structuring the plan for Xcel to assume the risk of failure have customers pay when the project] produces green energy…” click here for more

    Monday, September 13, 2021

    Monday Study – The Biden Solar Future Blueprint

    Solar Futures Study

    September 2021 (U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy)

    Executive Summary

    Dramatic improvements to solar technologies and other clean energy technologies have enabled recent rapid growth in deployment and are providing cost-effective options for decarbonizing the U.S. electric grid. The Solar Futures Study explores the role of solar in decarbonizing the grid. Through state-of-the-art modeling, the study envisions deep grid decarbonization by 2035, as driven by a required emissions-reduction target. It also explores how electrification could enable a low-carbon grid to extend decarbonization to the broader energy system (the electric grid plus all direct fuel use in buildings, transportation, and industry) through 2050.

    The Solar Futures Study uses a suite of detailed power-sector models to develop and evaluate three core scenarios. The “Reference” scenario outlines a business-as-usual future, which includes existing state and federal clean energy policies but lacks a comprehensive effort to decarbonize the grid. The “Decarbonization (Decarb)” scenario assumes policies drive a 95% reduction (from 2005 levels) in the grid’s carbon dioxide emissions by 2035 and a 100% reduction by 2050. This scenario assumes more aggressive cost-reduction projections than the Reference scenario for solar as well as other renewable and energy storage technologies, but it uses standard future projections for electricity demand. The “Decarbonization with Electrification (Decarb+E)” scenario goes further by including large-scale electrification of end uses. The study also analyzes the potential for solar to contribute to a future with more complete decarbonization of the U.S. energy system by 2050, although this analysis is simplified in comparison to the grid-decarbonization analysis and thus entails greater uncertainty.

    Even under the Reference scenario, installed solar capacity increases by nearly a factor of 7 by 2050, and grid emissions decline by 45% by 2035 and 61% by 2050, relative to 2005 levels. That is, even without a concerted policy effort, market forces and technology advances will drive significant deployment of solar and other clean energy technologies as well as substantial decarbonization. The target-driven deep decarbonization of the grid modeled in the Decarb and Decarb+E scenarios yields more extensive solar deployment, similarly extensive deployment of wind and energy storage, and significant expansions of the U.S. transmission system. In 2020, about 80 gigawatts (GW) of solar, on an alternating-current basis,1 satisfied around 3% of U.S. electricity demand. By 2035, the decarbonization scenarios show cumulative solar deployment of 760–1,000 GW, 2 serving 37%–42% of electricity demand, with the remainder met largely by other zero-carbon resources, including wind (36%), nuclear (11%–13%), hydroelectric (5%– 6%), and biopower/geothermal (1%). By 2050, the Decarb and Decarb+E scenarios envision cumulative solar deployment of 1,050–1,570 GW, serving 44%–45% of electricity demand, with the remainder met by wind (40%–44%), nuclear (4%–5%), hydropower (3%–5%), combustion turbines run on zero-carbon synthetic fuels such as hydrogen (2%–4%), and biopower/geothermal (1%) (Figure ES-1). Sensitivity analyses show that decarbonization can also be achieved via different technology mixes at similar costs.

    Although the Solar Futures Study emphasizes decarbonizing the grid, the Decarb+E scenario envisions decarbonization of the broader U.S. energy system through large-scale electrification of buildings, transportation, and industry. In this scenario, electricity demand grows by about 30% from 2020 to 2035, owing to electrification of fuel-based building demands (e.g., heating), vehicles, and industrial processes. Electricity demand increases by an additional 34% from 2035 to 2050. By 2050, all these electrified sectors are powered by zero-carbon electricity. In this scenario, the combination of grid decarbonization and electrification abates more than 100% of grid CO2 emissions relative to 2005 levels (Figure ES-2).

    In terms of the broader U.S. energy system, the Decarb+E scenario reduces CO2 emissions by 62% in 2050, compared with 24% in the Reference scenario and 40% in the Decarb scenario. The 38% residual in the Decarb+E scenario reflects emissions from direct carbon-emitting fossil fuel use, primarily for transportation and industry. We do not model elimination of these remaining emissions in detail, but a simplified analysis of 100% decarbonization of the U.S. energy system by 2050 shows solar capacity doubling from the Decarb+E scenario—equating to about 3,200 GW of solar deployed by 2050—to produce electricity for even greater direct electrification and for production of clean fuels such as hydrogen produced via electrolysis.

    The Solar Futures Study is the most comprehensive review to date of the potential role of solar in decarbonizing the U.S. electricity grid and broader energy system. The study was initiated by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office and led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

    Additional key findings of the study include the following:

    • Achieving the decarbonization scenarios requires significant acceleration of clean energy deployment. Compared with the approximately 15 GW of solar capacity deployed in 2020, annual solar deployment doubles in the early 2020s and quadruples by the end of the decade in the Decarb+E scenario. Similarly substantial solar deployment rates continue in the 2030s and beyond. Deployment rates accelerate for wind and energy storage as well.

    • Continued technological progress in solar—as well as wind, energy storage, and other technologies—is critical to achieving cost-effective grid decarbonization and greater economy-wide decarbonization. Research and development (R&D) can play an important role in keeping these technologies on current or accelerated cost-reduction trajectories. For example, a 60% reduction in PV energy costs by 2030 could be achieved via improvements in photovoltaic efficiency, lifetime energy yield, and cost. Higher-temperature, higherefficiency concentrating solar power technologies also promise cost and performance improvements. Further advances are also needed in areas including energy storage, load flexibility, generation flexibility, and inverter-based resource capabilities for grid services. With the requisite improvements, solar technologies may proliferate in novel configurations associated with agriculture, waterbodies, buildings, and other parts of the built environment.

    • Solar can facilitate deep decarbonization of the U.S. electric grid by 2035 without increasing projected 2035 electricity prices if targeted technological advances are achieved. In the Decarb and Decarb+E scenarios, 95% decarbonization is achieved in 2035 without increasing electricity prices (compared with Reference scenario marginal system costs of electricity), because decarbonization and electrification costs are fully offset by savings from technological improvements and enhanced demand flexibility.

    • For the 2020–2050 study period, the benefits of achieving the decarbonization scenarios far outweigh additional costs incurred. Cumulative (2020–2050) power-system costs are one measure of the long-term economics of the decarbonization scenarios, helping to capture the impact of long-lived generating technologies. These costs are about $225 billion (10%) higher in the Decarb scenario than in the Reference scenario—reflecting the added cost of capital investments in clean generation, energy storage, and transmission; operations and maintenance of these assets; and the reduced fuel and other expenditures for fossil fuel technologies. Power-system costs are $562 billion (25%) higher in the Decarb+E scenario, but this higher estimate reflects the costs of serving electrified loads previously powered through direct fuel combustion. Using central estimates for electrification costs, the net incremental cost of the Decarb+E scenario is about $210 billion after factoring out offset fuel expenditures. However, avoided climate damages and improved air quality more than offset those additional costs, resulting in net savings of $1.1 trillion in the Decarb scenario and $1.7 trillion in the Decarb+E scenario.

    • The envisioned solar growth will yield broad economic benefits in the form of jobs and workforce development. The solar industry already employs around 230,000 people in the United States, and with the level of growth envisioned in the Solar Futures Study’s scenarios, it could employ 500,000–1,500,000 people by 2035.

    • Challenges must be addressed so that solar costs and benefits are distributed equitably. Low- and medium-income communities and communities of color have been disproportionately harmed by the fossil-fuel-based energy system, and the clean energy transition presents opportunities to mitigate these energy justice problems by implementing measures focused on equity. This study explores measures related to the distribution of public and private benefits, the distribution of costs, procedural justice in energy-related decision making, the need for a just workforce transition, and potential negative externalities related to solar project siting and disposal of solar materials.

    • Solar can help decarbonize the buildings, transportation, and industrial sectors. In the Decarb+E scenario, electrification of fuel-based end uses enables solar electricity to power about 30% of all building end uses and 14% of transportation end uses by 2050. For buildings, rooftop solar can increase the value of batteries and investments in load automation systems; distributed batteries and load automation can, in turn, increase the grid value of solar. For transportation, rooftop solar could increase the value of electric vehicle adoption to consumers through a combination of low-marginal-cost electricity and managed charging—and thus could accelerate electrification of the transportation sector. The longterm role of solar electricity in industry is less certain, but industrial process heat from concentrating solar thermal plants can help decarbonize this sector as well. In all three sectors, solar can play a long-term role in producing zero-carbon fuels.

    • Diurnal energy storage enables high levels of decarbonization, but additional clean firm capacity is needed to achieve full grid decarbonization. In the Decarb+E scenario, storage with 12 hours or less of energy capacity expands by up to 70-fold, from 24 GW in 2019 to more than 1,600 GW in 2050. This diurnal storage complements renewable energy deployment by storing energy when it is less useful to the grid and releasing it when it is more useful. However, because solar and wind occasionally provide insufficient supply for several days, advances in technologies that can provide clean firm capacity at any time are needed to reliably meet demand as full decarbonization is approached.

    • Maintaining reliability in a grid powered primarily by renewable energy requires careful power system planning. In the decarbonization scenarios, the grid becomes increasingly reliant on weather-dependent inverter-based resources (IBRs) such as PV, representing a dramatic change from the current grid based primarily on synchronous electricity generators. A grid dominated by IBRs will require new approaches to maintain system reliability and exploit the ability of IBRs to respond quickly to system changes. New approaches may also be required for high-solar grids to maintain resilience (defined as the ability of grids to respond to critical events such as natural disasters). Small-scale solar, especially coupled with storage, can enhance resilience by allowing buildings or microgrids to power critical loads during grid outages. In addition, advances in managing distributed energy resources, such as rooftop solar and electric vehicles, are needed to integrate these resources efficiently into electricity distribution systems.

    • Demand flexibility plays a critical role by providing firm capacity and reducing the cost of decarbonization. Demand flexibility shifts demand from end uses, such as electric vehicles, to better utilize solar generation. In the Decarb+E scenario, demand flexibility provides 80–120 GW of firm capacity by 2050 and reduces decarbonization costs by about 10%.

    • Developing U.S. solar manufacturing could mitigate supply chain challenges, but different labor standards and regulations abroad create cost-competitiveness challenges. Global PV supply chains can be constrained by production disruptions, competing demand from other industries or countries, and political disputes. A resilient supply chain would be diversified and not over reliant on any single supply avenue. To enhance the domestic supply chain, American solar technology manufacturers may improve competitiveness by increasing automation and exploiting the advantages of domestically manufacturing certain components. Policies can help promote domestic solar manufacturing.

    • Material supplies related to technology manufacturing likely will not limit solar growth in the decarbonization scenarios, especially if end-of-life materials displace use of virgin materials via circular-economy strategies. Under the decarbonization scenarios, demands for important PV materials are small relative to global production of these materials, even when assuming use of virgin materials only and accounting for simultaneous growth in PV deployment worldwide. Displacing virgin material use through circular-economy strategies would enhance material supplies. However, breakthroughs in technologies and participation in what is currently a voluntary recycling and circular-economy landscape in the United States will be required to maximize use of recoverable materials—yielding benefits to energy and materials security, improved social and environmental outcomes, and opportunities for the domestic workforce and manufacturing sectors.

    • Although land acquisition poses challenges, land availability does not constrain solar deployment in the decarbonization scenarios. In 2050, ground-based solar technologies require a maximum land area equivalent to 0.5% of the contiguous U.S. surface area. This requirement could be met in numerous ways including use of disturbed lands. The maximum solar land area required is equivalent to less than 10% of potentially suitable disturbed lands, thus avoiding conflicts with high-value lands in current use. Various approaches are available to mitigate local impacts or even enhance the value of land that hosts solar systems. Installing PV systems on waterbodies, in farming or grazing areas, and in ways that enhance pollinator habitats are potential ways to enhance solar energy production while providing benefits such as lower water evaporation rates and higher agricultural yields.

    • Water withdrawals decline by about 90% by 2050 in the decarbonization scenarios. The water savings result from the low water use of solar and other clean energy generation technologies, compared with fossil fuel and nuclear generators.

    • Achieving the Solar Futures Study’s vision requires long-term policy and market support in addition to continued innovation. Decarbonization targets set by policy are critical to decarbonizing more quickly than would occur owing to market conditions alone. Policy also accelerates cost reductions and technological innovations through R&D investments as well as through driving deployment and reducing costs through learning-bydoing. Even with significant cost and technology improvements, policy will be crucial for promoting decarbonization as the marginal costs of decarbonization increase. In addition, wholesale electricity markets must adapt to the increasingly dominant roles of zero-marginalcost renewable energy, and retail markets must adapt with rates that reflect the changing grid and an increased role for distributed energy resources. Nascent markets such as those for demand-side services and enhanced energy reliability may need to evolve to optimize the roles of distributed energy resources, and efforts are needed to expand the use of these resources to traditionally underserved groups.

    A dramatically larger role for solar in decarbonizing the U.S. electricity system, and energy system more broadly, is within reach, but it is only possible through concerted policy and regulatory efforts as well as sustained advances in solar and other clean energy technologies…

    Saturday, September 11, 2021

    This Is NOT How To Fight The Climate Crisis

    There are better plans. From Julie Nolke via YouTube

    The Biden Solar Plan

    The White House aims to take solar from 4% to 45% of U.S. power by 2050.From Yahoo Finance via YouTube

    California’s Rooftop Solar Fight

    The bill described here was rejected but this is a good summary of the decision California's Public Utilities Commission faces. The ruling, which will likely reververate across the country, is due by the end of 2021.From ABC 10 San Diego via YouTube

    Friday, September 10, 2021

    Thinking About Having Kids In A Climate Crisis

    Having kids in a climate crisis: would you do it?

    Miki Perkins, September 4, 2021 (Sydney Morning Herald)

    When Ashlee Tucker was a kid and adults asked what she’d like to do when she grew up she would always answer: ‘a mum’…[But] this impulse felt more and more incongruous set alongside what she was learning about the escalating climate crisis…Tucker, 26, who lives in Melbourne and works in the renewable energy sector…[and Tess, her wife,] have made the decision – with considerable sadness – not to have children because they are so concerned about the devastating impacts of global warming caused by burning fossil fuels.

    …[Australia’s largest poll ever conducted on climate change and politics found 10% of all respondents and 20% of adults under 35 have] overwhelming concern about climate change in young people…[Nelli Stevenson, 33,] went to her first environmental protest at age 7 and is now the head of communications at Greenpeace Australia…[Now 34 weeks’ pregnant, Melbourne-based Stevenson says] realized the best she could do as a parent was raise her son] to take on that fight with that next generation…

    Alessandra, 26, who lives in northern Sydney, decided four years ago she didn’t feel able to explain to her future children why certain species had become extinct…[She is studying zoology and] doesn’t intend to have children unless she sees positive, ‘huge’ action around decarbonisation in the next few years. And frankly, at the moment she’s not hopeful…[She] has a few friends who also do not want children, and a few in their 30s who have decided to start a family even though they are apprehensive about the future…” click here for more

    New Energy Offers Big Opportunity For Women

    Help Wanted—Women In Renewable Energy. Saves The Planet And The Economy, Study Found

    Joan Michelson, September 6, 2021 (Forbes)

    “…[The massive and unexpectedly devastating damage from Hurricane Ida this past week] is a stark reminder that we must mitigate and slow climate change…[and] power the economy without adding carbon emissions…[The global energy transition offers the chance to create new jobs and reshape all aspects of how energy is produced and distributed…[The International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA Renewable Energy: A Gender Perspective (2019), estimated] jobs could grow to nearly 29 million in 2050…

    …[To drive] climate-friendly economic growth, the IRENA report states that we need more women in the renewable energy sectors…Currently, women hold only 32% of renewable energy jobs, which is better than in fossil fuels where women hold only 22% of jobs. But women still hold far fewer of the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs…[T]he renewable energy sector needs talent across its supply chain – from utilities to engineering firms, from independent power producers to start-ups, in policymaking, regulators, academic institutions and at the community level…

    …[M]any have been framing the August 2021 jobs report as disappointing based on expectations and the prior few months of very strong job growth…[but transportation and warehousing] added 53,000 jobs in August 2021…[and women hold] 25.1% of transportation jobs…versus 24.5% of them in August 2020…[More extreme weather events will require grid modernization, and women need to get] an equitable share of those jobs…” click here for more

    Wednesday, September 08, 2021

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Distributed Energy Resources Need A Whole New System

    Edison Reimagines California’s Distribution System

    Herman K. Trabish, January 5, 2021 (California Current)

    Editor’s note: The decade-long work to design and build the distribution system needed for tomorrow’s power system has begun.

    Distributed energy’s explosive growth makes integrating it in a way that supports the power system critical, according to a new white paper from Southern California Edison.

    The paper forecasts significant growth of distributed energy resources (DER) in California and “we want to have the system technologies to see and manage their impacts,” SCE VP of Asset Management, Strategy & Engineering Paul Grigaux said. SCE’s Reimagining the Grid aims to guide “where and why we should turn right or turn left in building a distribution system to address evolving needs,” he added.

    The new white paper is the next phase of a debate that started with SCE’s 2018 rate case and is leading to alignment between utilities and DER advocates, Grigaux said. Agreement is increasing between California regulators and other stakeholders about a quickly evolving future. SCE’s grid evolution proposal is at the “cutting edge” of distribution system planning, Vote Solar Senior Director for Grid Integration Ed Smeloff agreed. Both its vision and call for collaboration with other stakeholders are important, he added.

    Greater reliance on variable wind and solar resources and the growth of DER will require managing “challenges to safety, grid stability, asset condition, reliability and resilience.” That is according to SCE’s newest addition to its Pathway 2045 vision of how to meet California’s net zero emissions mandate set for 2045… click here for more

    Hollywoodland Targets 100% New Energy By 2035

    LA approves 100% clean energy by 2035 target, a decade ahead of prior goal

    Jason Plautz, September 2, 2021 (Utility Dive)

    “…The Los Angeles City Council [voted 12-0 on September 1 to transition to 100% clean energy by 2035, in line with President Biden’s national goals and a decade earlier than the city originally planned…< a href=""target="_blank">The LA100 plan would see the city replace its natural gas electricity generation with wind, solar and battery storage, while also improving energy efficiency and transmission…The council also approved an equitable hiring plan, which instructs the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to increase hiring from environmentally and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods…The city anticipates creating some 9,500 new jobs as part of the transition…

    “…[The goal puts LADWP, the nation’s largest public utility, on track for an aggressive transition that backers said would present a model for the nation. Coming as California fights the Dixie and Caldor fires and just weeks after the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued what authors called a "code red for humanity," …[it is based on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) report commissioned by the city showing that Los Angeles could achieve 98% clean energy within a decade and 100% clean energy by 2035 without blackouts or disruptions to the economy…” click here for more

    Monday, September 06, 2021

    Monday Study: The Resources Necessary To Close California’s Nuclear

    Countdown to Shutdown; California’s Clean Energy Future after Diablo Canyon Closes

    Mark Specht, February 23, 2021 (Union of Concerned Scientists)

    As California strives to decarbonize its economy, the state’s electrical grid is rapidly evolving. The production of renewable electricity from sources like solar and wind continues to climb, while old natural gas and nuclear power plants continue to shut down. However, with the long-anticipated retirement of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant on the horizon, the transition to clean electricity is soon to encounter a speed bump: California will need to replace all of Diablo Canyon’s output with clean energy. The state can overcome this obstacle and carry on toward its clean energy goals, but this will require careful, proactive planning.

    California has long been a leader in decarbonizing its economy and transitioning to clean energy. Driving this transformation is the state law requiring global warming emissions reductions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 (California Legislature 2016) along with an executive order to achieve economywide carbon neutrality by 2045 (Brown 2018). To meet these ambitious goals, nearly every sector of California’s economy will need to evolve, pursuing innovative strategies and new technologies to eliminate global warming emissions wherever feasible.

    Decarbonizing California’s electricity sector will be the key to success as other sectors of the economy, such as buildings and transportation, increasingly electrify. To ensure that the state’s electricity sector rapidly transitions to clean electricity, California legislators and regulators have enacted many requirements. Foremost among them is the law requiring the state’s electricity to be 60 percent renewable by 2030 and 100 percent zero-carbon by 2045 (California Legislature 2018a). State regulators at the California Public Utilities Commission have been tasked with overseeing a long-term electrical grid planning process—integrated resource planning (IRP)—which aims to ensure that the state’s electricity sector reduces its emissions enough for California to achieve its economy-wide decarbonization goals.

    Taken together, this suite of policies and requirements is driving the transition to clean electricity in California. These policies can ensure that the retirement of Diablo Canyon does not stall, but rather accelerates the transition. However, current planning will not be sufficient to replace Diablo Canyon; without further action, cumulative global warming emissions will be higher over the next decade. In this analysis, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) offers a comprehensive analytical approach that specifically examines the increase in cumulative global warming emissions from Diablo Canyon’s retirement, along with solutions for replacing Diablo Canyon without increasing global warming emissions.

    The Upcoming Retirement of California’s Last Nuclear Power Plant

    After a long and fraught history of seismic safety concerns due to the discovery of fault lines very close to Diablo Canyon (Lochbaum 2013), in 2018 California regulators approved the request to shut down both of Diablo Canyon’s nuclear reactors, totaling 2,240 megawatts (MW), when their operating licenses expire in 2024 and 2025 (CPUC 2018). The decision to retire Diablo Canyon, California’s last nuclear power plant, marked the beginning of the end for the era of nuclear power in California.

    Ultimately, the decision to retire Diablo Canyon was made largely for economic reasons—it would not have been cost-effective to make the investments necessary to keep the power plant running beyond 2025. At the same time, California regulators also made a commitment to prevent an increase in global warming emissions due to Diablo Canyon’s closure (CPUC 2018). Shortly afterward, California legislators codified that commitment into law (California Legislature 2018b)

    Replacing the massive Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant without increasing global warming emissions will be no easy feat. By itself, Diablo Canyon accounted for 8 percent of California’s in-state electricity generation in 2019 (CEC 2020) (Figure 1). When the similarly sized San Onofre nuclear generating station unexpectedly and permanently went offline in 2012, natural gas power plants initially filled the gap. As a result, there was a notable uptick not only in global warming emissions from gas plants, but also in air pollution emissions like nitrogen oxides (NOx), which disproportionately affect the health of California’s disadvantaged communities (PSE Healthy Energy 2017). To avoid a similar uptick in global warming and air pollution emissions when Diablo Canyon closes, California regulators and electricity providers must take action now.

    The Existing Approach to Replacing Diablo Canyon That Falls Short…Analysis of the Increase in Emissions from Diablo Canyon’s Retirement…

    The Path Forward to Replace Diablo Canyon

    This analysis demonstrates that California’s current electricity sector emissions pathway fails to meet the requirements of state law because cumulative global warming emissions will be higher over the next decade due to the retirement of Diablo Canyon. Additional action is required to replace Diablo Canyon without significantly increasing global warming and air pollution emissions. Here we outline the types of resources that California will need to deploy to replace Diablo Canyon, as well as specific recommendations for moving forward.


    Our analysis estimated the incremental resources required to fill the 15.5 MMT cumulative emissions gap in the 46 MMT pathway. In addition, we assessed the overall resources required to replace Diablo Canyon in the 46 MMT, 38 MMT, and 30 MMT pathways.

    First, our analysis examined the type and quantity of incremental grid resources required specifically to close the 15.5 MMT cumulative emissions gap in the 46 MMT pathway.9 Closing this emissions gap also included the reduction of 2030 emissions below 46 MMT to 43 MMT (in order to satisfy Renewable Portfolio Standard requirements in addition to fully replacing Diablo Canyon with clean energy). Our findings suggest that, over the course of the next decade, the most cost-effective way to fill this emissions gap is to increase the wind build-out by 3,000 MW while slightly decreasing the solar and battery storage build-out by 600 MW and 300 MW, respectively.10 (The reduction in the total build-out of new solar and battery storage by 2030 is very small, and the total build-out still exceeds 10,000 MW and 8,000 MW, respectively.)

    Next, we examined the overall amount of grid resources required to replace Diablo Canyon’s capacity and zeroemissions energy in 2030 in all three emissions pathways (Figure 3). The results show that, generally, a diverse combination of renewable energy and energy storage is the most economic approach to replacing Diablo Canyon, regardless of the 2030 emissions target.

    Wind and energy storage are the most cost-effective resources for replacing Diablo Canyon, likely due to their relatively low costs and high grid reliability contributions. However, the quantity and type of Diablo Canyon replacement resources vary based on the 2030 emissions target in large part due to the limited availability of the most cost-effective resources. For instance, wind and energy storage are the main resources that replace Diablo Canyon in the 46 MMT pathway, but there are real-world limitations on the amount of wind and pumped storage (one type of energy storage using reservoirs of water) facilities that can be built. To decarbonize the electricity sector down to the 30 MMT target, essentially all of the available wind and pumped storage must be built regardless of whether or not Diablo Canyon remains online. Therefore, no additional wind or pumped storage resources are available to replace Diablo Canyon in the 30 MMT pathway, and geothermal, battery storage, and solar would be used instead.


    California regulators could take action in a couple of different ways to ensure that Diablo Canyon’s retirement does not result in increased global warming emissions. One option is to select a lower-emissions pathway than the one the state is currently on, which would address Diablo Canyon’s retirement automatically. Alternatively, regulators could stick with the current pathway and order procurement of clean resources specifically to replace Diablo Canyon, which would necessarily go over and above the procurement that is already required to reach California’s renewable electricity goals. UCS recommends the former option—specifically the adoption of the 30 MMT pathway for California’s electricity sector—because this pathway guarantees the full replacement of Diablo Canyon while also accelerating the decarbonization of the electricity sector, helping to ensure that California achieves its economy-wide decarbonization goals.

    With the transition to clean electricity being the linchpin of decarbonizing California’s entire economy, the retirement and replacement of Diablo Canyon is a prime opportunity to accelerate the state’s clean energy progress. By utilizing an analytical approach and taking the actions necessary to fully replace Diablo Canyon by 2030, California can keep its momentum toward a decarbonized economy, setting an example for how to manage the clean energy transition no matter the challenges along the way.

    Saturday, September 04, 2021

    Climate Crisis Evidence Everywhere

    If the scientific studies are too complicated, look around. Fires and floods are easy to understand. From MSNBC via YouTube

    The Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Alternative

    From Elon Musk on, nobody who understands the power system thinks the nation will run entirely on DER anytime soon. But DER is already an invaluable supplement to the system will get more valuable as more New Energy power plants that need DER support are built From Action For A Climate Emdergency via YouTube

    The Critical Piece To Beating The Climate Crisis

    Customer-owned energy storage is available in the market and innovative types of long duration energy storage are nearly ready. From Physics Girl via YouTube

    Friday, September 03, 2021

    Science Report Confirms Record-Setting Climate Crisis

    Fires in the Arctic, record sea levels: NOAA report details effects of climate change in 2020

    Emma Newburger, August 26, 2021 (CNBC)

    “…[Scientists say COVID’s temporary drop in carbon emissions has had no lasting impact on climate change…[The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s State of the Climate in 2020 report] the concentration of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere still hit its highest level ever recorded last year…[There was also the] highest annual increase in concentrations of methane, a potent climate-changing gas…Average global surface temperatures were among the hottest on record…Sea levels reached the highest on record…Oceans absorbed a record level of carbon dioxide…[and] 2020 was the hottest year on record that did not feature an El Niño…

    [The report follows the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report warning] that limiting global warming to close to 1.5 degrees Celsius or even 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels will be impossible in the next two decades without immediate widespread reductions in greenhouse gas pollution…[NOAA found the] annual global average carbon dioxide concentration at Earth’s surface was 412.5 parts per million, roughly 2.5 ppm more than in 2019, the highest in at least the last 800,000 years…” click here for more

    New Energy Is A Transformation Leader

    Renewable Energy: The Power Of Change; In order to meet consumer demand and the long-term goal of net-zero energy emissions by 2050, production of renewables must expand dramatically.

    Dominique Cantelme, July/August 2021 (Business Facilities)

    According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), based on current policy settings and economic trends, electricity generation from renewables, including hydropower, wind and solar PV, is on track to grow by 8 percent in 2021 and by more than 6 percent in 2022. However, renewables will still only be able to meet around half of the projected increase in global electricity demand over these two years…

    …[IEA’s Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector found] that while global commitments and actions have grown, and continue to do so, it is not enough to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C, which will limit the worst effects of climate change. Global warming is already impacting people and ecosystems but the risks at 1.5°C and 2°C are progressively higher…

    ‘To reach net zero emissions by 2050, annual clean energy investment worldwide will need to more than triple by 2030 to around $4 trillion.’ The report sets more than 400 milestones for what needs to be done, and the energy sector—as the major source of global emissions—is cited as the key to success, with nearly three-quarters of global emissions reductions between 2020 and 2025 taking place in the electricity sector. The pathway calls for coal-fired electricity generation to fall by more than 6 percent a year [and be replaced by huge increases in electricity system flexibility—such as batteries, demand response, hydrogen-based fuels, hydropower and more] to achieve this goal… click here for more

    Wednesday, September 01, 2021

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: California must pick when and where to fight wildfires

    Record wildfire threats mean California must pick when and where to fight, utilities, analysts, CalFire agree; Winds, drought, heat and land uses take utility-critical questions of wildfire fight beyond utilities

    Herman K. Trabish, May 27, 2021 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: The concept of controlled burns is gaining traction as the missing piece in California’s fight to manage the wildfire threat.

    In 2020, California had over 9,900 wildfires, which burned a record 4.25 million acres and killed 33 people, according to the state’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire). It is time for California to rethink its approach to wildfires, stakeholders said. Both wildfires and utility-owned power lines run throughout California’s federally-, state- and privately-held forest lands.

    Regulated utilities have caused less than 10% of California's wildfires, according to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), but a California constitutional provision makes utilities financially liable if their equipment is involved in, without causing, a fire’s ignition. As a result, the state’s three dominant investor-owned utilities (IOUs) and their customers have incurred costs for fires involving their equipment on lands where public agencies' efforts to avoid fires has been inadequate, stakeholders said. This has put the IOUs at the center of California wildfire debates.

    "The utilities are making progress, but their problem is not the same as California's," said Michael Wara, Senior Research Scholar at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and Director of the Climate and Energy Policy Program and a member of the state’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Wildfires. "We need to think in a new way about wildfires" and "about when and where to fight."

    California’s utilities and firefighting agencies are working to address the daunting statewide challenge. All of their work "can probably never be enough, but we are doing what is within our capability to prevent fires," CalFire Battalion Chief and spokesperson Captain Jon Heggie said.

    Utilities’ multi-billion-dollar mitigation efforts are expanding, though customers remain dissatisfied with their use of public safety power shutoffs (PSPSs), Wara, Heggie and other stakeholders agreed. A bigger question about mitigating California wildfires may be the extent of future involvement of federal authorities, which is especially important to utilities. As population expansion requires power lines deeper into fire-threatened wildlands, utilities’ liability grows even where others' control of lands leaves them unable to mitigate hazards that may involve their equipment and make them liable.

    A complete response may require first recognizing how the climate crisis is accelerating wildfire impacts and then shaping the state’s fight to when and where it can win, Heggie, Wara and utility representatives agreed… click here for more

    Cutting Edge New Energy Storage Solutions

    These 3 energy storage technologies can help solve the challenge of moving to 100% renewable electricity

    Kerry Rippy, August 26, 2021 (The Converstion)

    “…[New] energy will be the fastest-growing U.S. energy source through 2050…[Three emerging technologies could make it less] expensive to store energy…[H]igh-capacity batteries with long discharge times – up to 10 hours – could be valuable for storing solar power at night or increasing the range of electric vehicles…[U]pwards of 100 gigawatts’ worth of these batteries will likely be installed by 2050…[T]hat’s 50 times the generating capacity of Hoover Dam…One of the biggest obstacles is limited supplies of lithium and cobalt…

    Scientists are working to develop techniques for recycling lithium and cobalt batteries, and to design batteries based on other materials…[Because electrolytes in batteries often contain flammable materials, scientists] are developing solid electrolytes, which would make batteries more robust…[All-liquid designs called flow batteries allow] for super-fast charging and makes it easy to make really big batteries…[Molten salt can be heated with New Energy and stored] to heat steam and drive a generator in traditional plants…

    [To make molten salts more efficient, researchers] are working to develop new salts or other materials that can withstand temperatures as high as 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit (705 C)…[Storing a lot of energy for indefinite amounts of time] is a role for renewable fuels like hydrogen and ammonia…[Surplus New Energy would be stored in hydrogen and ammonia, which] contain more energy per pound than batteries…[It] could be used for shipping heavy loads and running heavy equipment, and for rocket fuel…[I]t is possible to make hydrogen fuel by splitting water molecules using electricity. The key challenge is optimizing the process to make it efficient and economical. The potential payoff is enormous: inexhaustible, completely renewable energy.” click here for more