NewEnergyNews: 01/01/2023 - 02/01/2023

NewEnergyNews

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.

YESTERDAY

  • Weekend Video: Al Gore Is Still Pointing The Way
  • Weekend Video: Not New Energy, But Someone Has To Explain
  • Weekend Video: The U.S. Plan To Transition Transportation
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-New Energy Can Wake The Global Economy
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Big Money Dodging Climate And New Energy Commitments
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT WEDNESDAY, January 25:

  • TTTA Wednesday-ORIGINAL REPORTING: Give Smart Meters A Chance
  • TTTA Wednesday-Biden Administration Moves Ahead On New Energy For Justice
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • Monday Study – New Energy 24/7 Is Within Reach
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • Weekend Video: Thunberg – The Problem Versus The Solution
  • Weekend Video: Electric Heat Pumps Moving The Market
  • Weekend Video: The Trouble With Oliver Stone’s Nuclear Solution
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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish

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    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

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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

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

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  • MONDAY’S STUDY AT NewEnergyNews, January 30:
  • New Utility Planning Needed For New Energy

    Monday, January 30, 2023

    Monday Study – New Utility Planning Needed For New Energy

    Reimagining Resource Planning

    Lauren Shwisberg, Katerina Stephan, Mark Dyson, January 2023 (RMI)

    Preface

    Planning the electricity system has never been more important — or more complex.

    Utilities are simultaneously facing unprecedented weather events, retiring aging resources, and considering a wider array of resource and grid improvement options to ensure electricity is reliable and affordable. On top of these factors, utilities and regulators are implementing changes to existing processes to achieve new policy objectives, such as prioritizing energy equity and reducing emissions.

    Resource planning is a crucial opportunity for utilities, regulators, and stakeholders to shape the future electricity system. Integrated resource plans (IRPs) typically indicate the direction of the generation mix and help utilities and regulators define strategies to respond to future opportunities and risks.

    In this report, we identify three core qualities IRPs must maintain to help utilities and regulators evaluate resource decisions even in the context of significant change: they must be trusted, comprehensive, and aligned.

    To accomplish this, utilities and regulators can look to approaches that have already been tested in IRPs across the country, explored with detailed examples in the report.

    Before making piecemeal changes, regulators and state policymakers have an opportunity to revisit the fundamentals of resource planning. By intentionally and proactively considering the purpose, scope, roles, and tools of planning, utilities and regulators can prioritize the most important changes and even identify new enhancements. In the report, we explore each of the fundamentals in more detail:

    Purpose: What are the goals for the electricity system and how should plans be structured and evaluated with respect to those goals?

    Scope: What should be included in IRPs, and what should be included in separate, yet coordinated, processes?

    Roles: Who should be involved in developing IRPs? Tools: How can we use analytical tools and engagement processes to best support the outcomes of planning?

    Ultimately, we hope that utilities and regulators will use this opportunity — when their resource planning processes are being stretched and challenged — to consider how resource planning may need to be adapted, refined, and even reimagined.

    Study at a Glance

    Chapter 1 Integrated Resource Planning Purpose and Overview

    Resource planning is a crucial opportunity for utilities, regulators, and stakeholders to shape the future electricity system.

    Chapter 2 Understanding How States Define Resource Planning Today

    The rules and guidelines that define resource planning vary across states and can be updated by regulators and legislators. We review examples of how 12 states address three major questions: which utilities are required to do resource planning, whether and how the plans are reviewed, and how plans affect procurement.

    Chapter 3 How to Reimagine Resource Planning

    IRPs must maintain three core qualities to be effective tools for utilities and regulators to evaluate resource decisions:

    • Trusted — The integrated resource plan (IRP) is transparent and well vetted, with stakeholder input.

    • Comprehensive — The IRP can accurately represent the costs, capabilities, system impacts, and values of the resources that might be available within the planning time horizon, and can consider actions across the transmission and distribution systems as portfolio options.

    • Aligned — It is clear how the plan evaluates options to meet traditional planning requirements such as reliability, affordability, and safety as well as state and federal policies and customer priorities such as reducing emissions and advancing environmental justice.

    To holistically address the challenges facing planning today, regulators have an opportunity to proactively refine the purpose, scope, roles, and tools that support planning.

    Chapters 4, 5, 6 Trusted, Comprehensive, Aligned

    Utilities and regulators can look to examples of enhancements across the country that utilities and regulators have tested in IRPs to make sure plans are trusted, comprehensive, and aligned.

    Chapter 7 Conclusion

    Utilities and regulators should use this opportunity to consider how resource planning may need to be “reimagined.”

    Executive Summary

    Opportunity to Improve Resource Planning

    In this period of rapid change in the electricity sector, resource planning has never been more important — or more complex.

    Planning represents an opportunity to shape a significant fraction of the future electricity system. Between now (2022) and the end of 2025, utilities serving at least 40% of US total electricity sales and over 90 million customers will file integrated resource plans. Current utility resource plans show that utilities plan to invest over $300 billion in new resources over the next 15 years.

    Utility integrated resource plans (IRPs) have historically been tools for utilities and regulators to determine the portfolio of generation and demand-side resources that can meet projected peak and energy demand over the next 10 to 30 years at least cost, while mitigating risk and meeting policy objectives. The outputs of the plan are intended to inform a utility’s resource procurement, power purchasing, and program decisions — driving accountability toward a portfolio that results in affordable rates and maintains a safe and reliable grid.

    Yet much of the value in resource planning is not in definitively determining the utility’s portfolio 30 years out, but in the exercise of planning. Resource planning presents a crucial opportunity for utilities, regulators, and stakeholders to:

    • Understand the energy needs of the households, communities, and businesses a utility serves, as well as how they will change over time, and translate them into system needs

    • Establish a common set of assumptions and evidence that can be used to assess which near- and long-term options can meet system needs and achieve desired utility performance across multiple objectives

    • Identify longer-term risks and opportunities and strategies to navigate

    them

    Challenges of Planning for an Uncertain Future during a Period of Rapid Change

    We observe that IRPs must maintain three core qualities to be effective tools for utilities and regulators to evaluate resource decisions, as outlined in Exhibit 1 (next page).

    Today, a few major trends are adding urgency and complexity to the IRP process, including but not limited to:

    • Rapid technology change and shifting resource costs

    • A range of new state and federal policies that expand planning objectives beyond affordability, reliability, and safety to include emissions reductions, advancement of environmental justice, economic development, and support of electrification of transportation, buildings, and industry

    • Increasing recognition that decisions made on distribution and transmission systems affect generation resource planning and vice versa

    • Increasing stakeholder awareness that resource planning can have an impact on local air quality, health, jobs, energy bills, and climate change

    If an IRP does not achieve these three qualities, its credibility, accuracy, and effectiveness may be eroded. The risks of unanticipated costs for ratepayers, disallowed future investments, dissatisfied customers, and failure to meet public policy objectives will increase.

    Expanding Scope for Resource Planning

    Updating the IRP process to ensure that it remains trusted, comprehensive, and aligned can make IRPs more complex. As such, making changes around the edges or adding new IRP requirements may no longer be what best serves a utility or regulator — especially with staff time and capacity constraints. To use a metaphor to guide our thinking, the goal is to avoid amassing incremental IRP expectations in a way that is like the straw that breaks the camel’s back (Exhibit 2, next page).

    Overview of Planning Enhancements

    After aligning on a set of priority changes, utilities and regulators can look to approaches that have been tested in IRPs across the country that can “enhance” plans to be more trusted, comprehensive, and aligned. These enhancements are summarized in Exhibit 3.

    To build trust in resource plans, regulators and utilities are:

    • Prioritizing transparency, by updating rules that assess what information may be held as confidential or proprietary — and applying those rules to ensure that stakeholders have the information they need to engage effectively in the IRP process

    • Meaningfully engaging stakeholders, with an inclusive and substantive process for input before and during the plan’s development

    To make plans more comprehensive, regulators and utilities are:

    • Integrating resource, transmission, and distribution system planning, to better understand how decisions at one level of the grid might affect others

    • Using all-source solicitations in the planning process, to bring in timely market data as a basis for making procurement decisions

    • Updating assumptions and modeling tools for distributed energy resources (DER) adoption and value, to more accurately forecast DER growth patterns and impacts and assess DER costs and benefits

    • Accurately representing emerging resources and their value, by including all options that may be commercially available in the planning horizon and using models with a level of spatial and temporal granularity needed to reveal values

    To align resource plans with evolving objectives and understand the impacts of plans on people, regulators and utilities are:

    • Updating approaches to planning for reliability, to better understand the risks, vulnerabilities, and types of solutions that can contribute to reliability, including resource adequacy and resilience

    • Accounting for carbon emissions and decarbonization targets, to assess progress and alignment toward climate goals or better understand the risk of future climate policy

    • Analyzing health and air quality impacts across resource options and portfolios

    • Including affordability, jobs, and environmental justice, to make the human impacts of planning clearer

    Reimagining Resource Planning

    Ultimately, we hope that utilities and regulators will use this opportunity — when their resource planning processes are being stretched and challenged — to consider how resource planning may need to be more radically reimagined…

    Saturday, January 28, 2023

    Al Gore Is Still Pointing The Way

    This man is a hero. Let the haters on the Right hate. He has been a leader on climate for three decades and he is still envisioning a future in which both humanity and the planet thrive. From Forbes via YouTube

    Not New Energy, But Someone Has To Explain

    This offers some laughter and insight about a national embarrassment. From Real Time with Bill Maher via YouTube

    The U.S. Plan To Transition Transportation

    This is the blueprint. The roadmap runs through the private sector from automakers to auto buyers. From U.S. Dept of Energy via YouTube

    Friday, January 27, 2023

    New Energy Can Wake The Global Economy

    Davos 2023: Energy transition is a way out of gloomy global outlook

    Mihajlo Vujasin, January 21, 2023 (Balkan Green Energy News)

    “Clean technologies, renewable energy sources, and industry decarbonization should be the response to the current global crisis, said participants in the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum 2023 in Davos…[The WEF’s Global Risk Report found that] the main risks and threats to the future of humanity come from climate change and a looming environmental collapse…in the age of polycrisis, which will mark the next decade…[O]ver 70% of worldwide CEOs think global economic growth will decline in 2023…

    …[In WEF’s 12 years of surveys,] this is the most pessimistic outlook…War, inflation, the energy crisis, and a possible recession are the grim context…[But clean technologies, decarbonization of the economy, and renewable energy sources,] unlike fossil fuels, could become a guarantor of peace and catalyst of international cooperation…The global energy sector is set to transform in the coming decades from a predominantly fossil fuel-based sector to one increasingly dominated by renewables and other clean energy technologies…

    …[Many global leaders agreed investment and fulfillment of policy commitments are] needed to give the world any chance of achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement…For most countries, it is unrealistic to compete across all parts of the clean energy technology supply chains. They will need to identify their strengths and build on them, be it a mineral resource, low-cost clean energy supply, or workforce development with relevant skills…[and] since no country will be in a position to do everything at once, collaboration should be a key element of countries’ industrial strategies…" click here for more

    Big Money Dodging Climate And New Energy Commitments

    Just 7% of global banks' energy financing goes to renewables, new data shows; Data Indicates Major Failings By Financial Institutions To Help Meet Global Commitments On Net Zero

    January 23, 2023 (Sierra Club)

    “…[New data shows] just 7% of bank] financing for energy companies went to renewables between 2016 and 2022…[Financial institutions showed] shockingly low financial support through loans and bond underwriting for clean energy. It calls into question pledges from the industry-led Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), whose commissioned research shows low carbon energy investments need to account for at least 80% of energy investments compared to fossil fuels (4:1) by 2030 to reach climate goals…[N]o bank looks set to reach this very minimum requirement…

    ….[A]t $181 billion Citi and JP Morgan Chase each pumped the most into the energy companies examined between 2016 and 2022 but just 2% went to renewables…[Only 2% of Barclays’ financing of the energy companies examined went to renewables. Royal Bank of Canada is at just 1%, Mizuho 4% and HSBC 5%...Bank loans and bond underwriting for renewables went from 7% in 2016 [$23.2 billion] of the overall financing of the energy companies examined to a high of 10% in 2021 [$34.5 billion] but virtually stagnated between these years, rather than showing any positive trend…

    Overall the 60 banks saw $2.5 trillion in loans and bond underwriting provided to the companies examined for energy activities between January 2016 and July 2022…[with$2.3 trillion to fossil fuel energy and just $178 billion to] clean energy activities such as wind and solar…[and] banks that are members of GFANZ actually provide less financing for renewable energy, on average, than their counterparts that are not in the alliance… [I]t's high time for banks to stop supporting fossil fuel expansion and commit to massive 2025 and 2030 clean financing…” click here for more

    Wednesday, January 25, 2023

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Give Smart Meters A Chance

    97% of smart meters fail to provide promised customer benefits. Can $3B in new funding change that? Less than 3% of 2009’s taxpayer- and ratepayer-funded smart meters now deliver full customer benefits, a recent study shows.

    Herman K. Trabish, October 5, 2022 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: Putting smart meters to work can make electricity cleaner and less costly.

    An Aug. 30 Request for Information, or RFI, from the U.S. Department of Energy on how best to use $3 billion in infrastructure bill smart grid funding is raising expectations among energy management services providers about a new round of smart meter deployments by utilities across the country. It is also raising questions about unrealized benefits from 2009’s taxpayer- and ratepayer-funded billion-dollar American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or ARRA, smart meter investment.

    By the end of 2022, there will be over 124 million smart meters installed in 78% of U.S. households, according to data released in April by the Edison Foundation’s Institute for Electric Innovation. But less than 3% of today’s smart meters fulfill 2009 promises of customer savings and that must be prevented in the coming Energy Department-funded deployment, according to a September analysis by Mission:data Coalition.

    “Utilities used federal and state funds to deploy smart meters and many explicitly promised to empower customers” to lower bills and earn rewards for supporting system peak demand reductions, said Mission:data President and analysis lead author Michael Murray. “The public policy failure is that utilities benefited from returns on capital expenditures and reduced operational costs but did not deliver those customer benefits,” he said.

    There are reasons customer benefits have been limited, utilities said. “Our web portal allows customers access to historic data and helps them take the steps to obtain near real-time data,” said Fort Collins Utilities Energy Services Manager and Policy Advisor John Phelan. But that “is an impractical, time-consuming process and customers lose interest in it after a few weeks,” he said.

    Utilities can streamline real-time data access to enable greater customer and system benefits with “non-discriminatory” and “interoperability” standards, Murray and other smart meter advocates said. But that may compromise concerns of customers and regulators about system security and customer privacy protections, utilities said… click here for more

    Biden Administration Moves Ahead On New Energy For Justice

    Biden-Harris Administration Announces Funding For Community-Centered Clean Energy Programs Across the U.S. And $9 Billion For Home Rebates

    January 18, 2023 (U.S. Department of Energy)

    “…[S]tate, local, and Tribal governments can begin applying for formula grant funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program] for clean energy projects and programs in local communities, reaching more than 250 million Americans across the country…[and a request for information (RFI) seeks input for Home Energy Rebate Programs] funded by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act that will provide record breaking funding to help Americans cut energy costs in their homes through energy efficiency and electrification of home appliances and equipment…

    …[The EECBG Program will provide] $430 million to support a variety of community-based] projects, such as developing a clean energy strategy with measurable goals, making buildings and streetlights more energy-efficient, creating bike lanes, installing renewable energy on government buildings, funding a community solar campaign, or developing zero emissions building codes…

    …[The RFI for the Home Energy Rebate Program introduces] programs funded through the Inflation Reduction Act totaling nearly $9 billion…to develop, implement, and enhance residential energy efficiency and electrification projects in U.S. households, saving consumers an estimated $1 billion annually in energy costs...These programs align with President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, ensuring that 40 percent of the overall benefits of clean energy investments make a difference in communities that are energy burdened and historically underserved…” click here for more

    Monday, January 23, 2023

    Monday Study – New Energy 24/7 Is Within Reach

    Achieving 24/7 Renewable Energy By 2025

    Jan Pepper, Greg Miller, Sara Maatta and Mehdi Shahriari, January 2023 (Peninsula Clean Energy)

    Executive Summary

    Peninsula Clean Energy is leading the charge to fight climate change by radically transforming the electricity sector. We have one of the most aggressive renewable energy goals in the world: Providing our 310,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers with renewable energy on an hourly basis by 2025.

    Over the last two years, we have built, tested, and leveraged a new 24/7 clean energy procurement modeling tool, MATCH (Matching Around-The-Clock Hourly energy), to answer the critical questions: What is the optimal 24/7 renewable energy portfolio, how much will it cost, what are the emissions reduction benefits, and what are the impacts to the broader energy system?

    Our MATCH modeling shows that 24/7 renewable energy can be achieved at costcompetitive rates, while achieving the expected benefits of reducing emissions, and providing wider benefits to the grid. That includes reductions in long run emissions by building new supplies and storage that will displace methane gas generation.

    Specifically, our MATCH modeling finds that providing 100% renewable energy implemented on an approximately 99% time-coincident basis achieves the ideal balance of being cost competitive, reducing portfolio risk, and reducing emissions. Time-coincident or 24/7 renewable energy means matching customer demand with renewable energy supply in the same hour.

    The cost of 24/7 renewable energy varies depending on how perfectly supply and demand are matched. We find that a “sweet spot” goal of providing 100% renewable energy on a 99% time-coincident basis results in only a 2% cost increase relative to our baseline, while achieving critical emission reductions and providing other benefits to the grid.

    Our model also found there are diminishing returns in trying to match the last 1% of customer demand, with a 10% increase in portfolio cost needed to go from 99% timecoincident to 100% time-coincident.

    While there are some benefits in matching that last 1% of customer demand, 100% time-coincident hourly matching will likely not have zero carbon intensity due to trace emissions from beneficial geothermal supplies.

    The optimal 24/7 renewable energy portfolios are characterized by significant excess supply, especially at the higher levels of hourly matching. Excess supply is necessary to ensure that customer demand is met by renewable energy, even in the hardest-to-serve times like cloudy, windless days. Seasonal storage could help to reduce excess supply, but no cost-effective seasonal storage is yet available.

    There are wider grid benefits that result from our 24/7 renewable energy portfolios, including reducing the system net peak demand and improving the system ramp. Our 24/7 portfolios are also estimated to result in some renewable curtailment which could reach up to about 3% of our renewable supply under certain market conditions.

    Over the next decade, as demand-side resources become more prevalent for load shaping and shifting, they will become a critical part of our 24/7 renewable portfolio.

    We also expect emerging technologies such as offshore wind and non-lithium storage to mature and play a significant role in our portfolio in later years. As we continue to study and implement 24/7 renewable energy, we will explore how to operate a 24/7 portfolio. Specifically, we are interested in evaluating how to best operate our portfolio to optimize cost, grid impacts, and emissions reductions.

    We are confident that these results and the release of our new MATCH modeling tool can guide Peninsula Clean Energy’s path toward 100% renewable energy on a 99% timecoincident basis in 2025 and inspire and empower other California Community Choice Aggregators, load serving entities and utilities, and clean energy buyers in their efforts to achieve 100% clean energy around the clock…

    Saturday, January 21, 2023

    Thunberg – The Problem Versus The Solution

    Greta is right, but will the $2.2 trillion per year needed to fund the global energy transition come from the grassroots? From Bloomberg News via YouTube

    Electric Heat Pumps Moving The Market

    Driven by grassroots demand, electric heat pumps can reduce emissions-generating natural gas heating and increase the use of New Energy from clean power systems. From PBS NewsHour via YouTube

    The Trouble With Oliver Stone’s Nuclear Solution

    The main issue with nuclear is not safety but that it takes much longer to build than New Energy, costs prohibitively more, and is much less flexible, which diminishes the value of customer-owned resources. From Video Attualita via YouTube

    Friday, January 20, 2023

    Here’s How New Energy Can Do What It Can Do

    Unleashing Renewable Energy’s Full Potential

    18 January 2023 (United Nations Climate Change)

    ’ “…[R]adical action is still needed to accelerate the energy transition…There is reason for optimism when it comes to renewable energy because renewables are moving further and faster than projected…Renewable electricity capacity additions have been outpacing those of non-renewables since 2014…are set to account for over 90% of global electricity capacity expansion in the next five years…[and] will become the largest source of global electricity generation by early 2025, surpassing coal…

    …Worldwide renewable energy employment reached 12.7 million last year, a jump of 700,000 new jobs in one year. Solar energy was found to be the fastest-growing sector. In 2021 it provided 4.3 million jobs, more than a third of the current global renewable workforce…But there is also reason for frustration…[Despite recent rhetoric,] climate pledges and overall finance to support the shift to renewables remains insufficient…

    …[A]bout USD 4 trillion per year needs to be invested in renewable energy up until 2030 to be able to reach net zero emissions by 2050…Transformational adaptation is also needed to help communities cope with already occurring climate impacts…[But] the combined climate pledges of 193 Parties under the Paris Agreement could put the world on track for around 2.5 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century…” click here for more

    New Energy Can Answer World Insecurities

    What's the global energy outlook for 2023?

    Kate Whiting and Amy White, January 17, 2023 (World Economic Forum)

    “…[The global energy crisis is] about more than the world's reliance on natural gas from Russia. It's about global energy security, fueling the transition to clean energy for the climate and the interconnection between the energy crisis and food security…For the first time in a decade, the number of people without access to modern energy is growing…

    Some 75 million people who have only just got access to electricity may no longer be able to afford it, while 100 million people may need to return to cooking using biomass…[But the world’s need to reduce climate crisis-driving emissions by 43% by 2030] represents an opportunity for the green economy. Those industries helping the world shift to net-zero emissions could be worth $10.3 trillion to the global economy by 2050…

    The challenge facing the energy sector today is how to redesign the entire system while maintaining an affordable, resilient supply that's sustainable for the planet…[There is a growing need for global unity because] the energy transition is effectively a set of interdependencies…[while energy security] is now a key driver of growth for renewables…” click here for more

    Wednesday, January 18, 2023

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: The California Plan To Create A Customer-Driven Tomorrow Power System

    Real-time pricing, new rates and enabling technologies target demand flexibility to ease California outages; Dynamic energy, capacity prices and an online “price machine” could make DER a reliability solution, regulators say

    Herman K. Trabish, September 13, 2022 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: This California plan points to where the power system is going. It sounds too complicated now, like personal computing did in 1980 and like cell phones did in 1990.

    Growing California power system reliability threats made vivid by early September Flex Alerts called by the state’s system operator could be relieved by a price signal based on real-time pricing, or RTP, linked to smart customer-owned resources through new enabling technologies, according to the California Public Utilities Commission Energy Division’s June 22 CalFUSE proposal.

    The new approach could transform California’s high penetrations of customer-owned distributed energy resources into a response to electricity market supply and load fluctuations, commissioners agreed in a July 14 order opening a proceeding to investigate the proposal’s potential.

    RTP can signal DER owners and aggregators to provide “demand flexibility” by rapidly and cost-effectively responding to rising market prices for electricity by decreasing consumption or exporting stored energy, staff added at a July 21 CalFUSE introductory workshop.

    The CalFUSE framework “is complex, but the complexity will be outweighed by the benefits in the long run,” Southern California Edison Director of Pricing Design and Research Robert Thomas said. Customer bill credits “for responding to dynamic price signals” can “add up to significant affordability gains,” he added.

    The proposal offers a vision of “a viable dynamic future grid,” and “utilities are critical to that vision, but it will not work without innovative third-party entrepreneurs engaging customers,” customer-owned device aggregator OhmConnect CEO and Founder Cisco DeVries cautioned.

    CalFUSE’s rate design and enabling technologies can lower system and customer costs and drive system flexibility if customers participate and it is a solution that could work wherever power markets and RTP enable it, utilities, DER advocates, and other stakeholders agreed. But whether the plan is too complicated to be workable and how quickly it can be implemented remain highly debated… click here for more

    Doubts About Carbon Capture Raise Doubts About NatGas

    John Kerry: Natural Gas Boom Must Be Combined With Carbon Capture

    Tsvetana Paraskova, January 16, 2023 (OilPrice)

    “Natural gas can help reduce emissions only if it is paired with projects of [successful, cost-effective carbon capture, according to] John Kerry, the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate…While natural gas is cleaner than coal, it is still a polluting fossil fuel, especially with methane emissions. Before 2022, countries with net-zero targets, including large economies in the EU, were reluctant to commit to long-term LNG supply deals with the biggest LNG exporters because of the emissions profile of LNG projects.

    After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, however, most countries shifted focus to energy security and EU member states accelerated efforts to buy more LNG to replace Russian pipeline gas…[LNG use fell at the end of 2022 and most analysts agree natural gas can only be part of the net-zero by 2050 goal by efficiently and cost-effectively reducing emissions, even though 2022] global LNG imports hit a record high of 409 million tons, as Europe scrambled to replace Russian pipeline gas supply and outbid Asia to draw the majority of cargo…

    While the energy crisis in Europe has strengthened the case for a rush to build new LNG export infrastructure, the EU’s plan to reduce gas consumption, slash emissions, and become a net-zero bloc by 2050, could be a problem for [new LNG investments that are expected to reach] $42 billion annually in 2024 and] fall off a cliff as governments transition away from fossil fuels and accelerate investments in low-carbon energy infrastructure…” click here for more

    Monday, January 16, 2023

    Monday Study – The Biden Blueprint For New Energy In Transportation

    The U.S. National Blueprint For Transportation Decarbonization; A Joint Strategy To Transform Transportation

    January 10, 2023 (U.S. Departments of Energy, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

    Executive Summary

    The transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, responsible for one-third of all emissions. To address the growing climate crisis, and to meet the goal of net-zero GHG emissions economy-wide by 2050, it is critical to decarbonize transportation by eliminating nearly all GHG emissions from the sector. 1,2

    Transportation costs are the second largest household expense for Americans and a well-planned transition to a sustainable transportation future will also result in a more affordable and equitable transportation system, with improved transportation services; more mobility choices; improved air quality and health; greater energy security; better quality of life and accessibility; improved health outcomes; enhanced access to a variety of housing options, services, and amenities; well-paying jobs; and safer, more vibrant and resilient communities throughout the country. A decarbonized transportation system can mobilize a sustainable economy that benefits everyone. As our transportation system and communities are increasingly threatened by worsening climate impacts such as hurricanes, wildfires, flooding, heatwaves, and drought, decarbonizing the sector is essential to addressing this existential crisis.

    The recently enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) together represent historic investments in the future of our nation that will transform how we move and live while we build the backbone of a safer and more sustainable transportation system. This Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization follows the momentum from those investments to crystallize a first-of-its-kind strategy for federal leadership and partnerships to decarbonize the entire U.S. transportation sector. Decarbonizing transportation will affect everyone, and solutions must address the needs of all urban, suburban, and rural communities; businesses of all sizes; and individuals and families at every socioeconomic level. The scope, scale, and speed of the shift will continue to require solutions that leverage market forces and private sector investments, which government policies and investments should jumpstart and guide.

    Decarbonizing the transportation sector will require multiple strategies and resources to deliver clean, safe, secure, accessible, affordable, and equitable solutions to existing and emerging challenges. Working with partners to enhance land-use planning will tackle the problem at the root and make it appealing and practical for people to take fewer or shorter trips, or to walk or bike on those trips where that is feasible. Implementing large investments in rail, public transportation, and safe active transportation infrastructure will give people the option to safely use more energy-efficient forms of transportation. And, thanks to significant strides in research, development, and demonstration (RD&D), technologies to decarbonize most transportation systems are within sight and offer realistic and viable pathways. The electrification of cars, trucks, and buses and providing the necessary infrastructure to charge them is underway and must accelerate. Given different applications and requirements, decarbonizing the entire transportation sector will require a diverse portfolio of solutions and technologies. This Blueprint focuses on those solutions that are viable and have sufficient resources to scale. Additional RD&D will be needed to further improve certain solutions and reduce costs, but progress and demonstration of promising technologies is well underway.

    COORDINATION IS NEEDED

    Implementing a holistic decarbonization strategy will require coordinated actions from federal, regional, state, local, and Tribal governments; nonprofit and philanthropic organizations; and private industries. In recognition of our critical roles, the United States Department of Energy (DOE), the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) signed a joint memorandum of understanding (MOU) in September of 2022 to formalize our commitment to the highest level of collaboration and coordination on transportation decarbonization. As an essential part of the MOU, the four agencies committed to creating a decarbonization strategy for the entire transportation sector to guide future policymaking and research, development, demonstration, and deployment in the public and private sectors. This Blueprint articulates that strategy and enumerates the actions needed to transform how people and goods move throughout the United States, all built upon five guiding principles:

    • Implement Bold Actions to Achieve Measurable Results: Act upon the urgency of the climate crisis and seize the critical opportunity to improve lives by prioritizing efforts that measurably and rapidly reduce GHG emissions and improve health outcomes, especially for overburdened communities.

    • Embrace Creative Solutions Across the Entire Transportation System: Evaluate a broad set of solutions to reduce emissions; including battery electric vehicles (EVs); improved land-use planning; infrastructure investments; and new policies; technologies; and business models that support clean modes of travel and zero-emission vehicles, including battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, for passengers and freight.

    • Ensure Safety, Equity, and Access: Focus on approaches that prioritize safety; include community engagement; address consumer needs and reduce emissions; expand accessibility and affordability of travel; distribute benefits more equitably and address disproportionate burdens; enhance infrastructure resiliency to a changing climate; and improve quality of life, health outcomes, and economic opportunity, particularly in overburdened and historically underserved communities.

    • Increase Collaboration: Create and support collaborative programs that leverage the combined expertise of DOE, DOT, EPA, HUD, and other federal partners, and expand the federal government’s partnerships with regional, state, local, and Tribal governments; private industry; community-based organizations; and other stakeholders.

    • Establish U.S. Leadership: Position the U.S. to lead the global race to clean transportation solutions, creating well-paying domestic jobs, strengthening U.S. energy independence and security, and developing robust and sustainable new domestic and international supply chains for clean transportation technologies.

    IMMEDIATE ACTIONS AND LONG-TERM PLANNING

    Implementing immediate strategies that achieve meaningful emissions reductions this decade is essential to reaching our nation’s 2030 emissions reduction goals in line with the president’s commitment and the U.S. Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement. We must work concurrently to develop solutions that will result in full economy-wide decarbonization by midcentury. This Blueprint provides a comprehensive, system-level perspective of the entire transportation system across all passenger and freight travel modes and fuels, and lays out three key strategies to achieve decarbonization:

    1. Increase convenience by supporting community design and land-use planning at the local and regional levels that ensure that job centers, shopping, schools, entertainment, and essential services are strategically located near where people live to reduce commute burdens, improve walkability and bikeability, and improve quality of life... ...Because every hour we don’t spend sitting in traffic is an hour we can spend focused on the things and the people we love, all while reducing GHG emissions.

    2. Improve efficiency by expanding affordable, accessible, efficient, and reliable options like public transportation and rail, and improving the efficiency of all vehicles... ...Because everyone deserves efficient transportation options that will allow them to move around affordably and safely, and because consuming less energy as we move saves money, strengthens our national security, and reduces GHG emissions.

    3. Transition to clean options by deploying zeroemission vehicles and fuels for cars, commercial trucks, transit, boats, airplanes, and more... ...Because no one should be exposed to air pollution in their community or on their ride to school or work and eliminating GHG emissions from transportation is imperative to tackle the climate crisis.

    While the first two strategies—increasing convenience and improving efficiency— will contribute to reducing GHG emissions and produce significant co-benefits, transitioning to clean options is expected to drive the majority of emissions reductions. Given the broad array of vehicle types, technologies, and usage patterns, a successful transition will require various vehicle and fuel solutions and must consider full lifecycle emissions. This Blueprint focuses on each major transportation mode and identifies specific decarbonization opportunities and challenges, highlighting the role of various clean technologies for various applications.

    To achieve a decarbonized transportation sector, the four agencies and our partners will need to deploy and leverage the full extent of our tools, expertise, and resources, such as:

    • Policy and Regulation: The federal government, along with regional, state, local, and Tribal governments, and with international partners and allies, can use a variety of policy and regulatory levers, including long-term planning, standards, and coordinated procurement to support decarbonization of the transportation sector.

    • Investments and Financing: All levels of government and the private sector can support decarbonization through strategic investments to deploy infrastructure and support manufacturing that accelerate the transition to cleaner, active, and more efficient modes of transportation and vehicles and facilitate the transition to zero-emission vehicles and sustainable fuels.

    • Research and Innovation: All levels of government, the private sector, and philanthropy can focus resources on RD&D to identify and scale technologies and tools that will achieve decarbonization. Reducing the cost of clean energy transportation technologies will be required to drive the scale and pace of adoption needed for sector-wide decarbonization and to achieve market pull to accelerate deployment.

    • Data and Tools: Complete and comprehensive information is needed for the public and decision makers to understand the benefits of clean mobility options and the implications for energy, infrastructure, the economy, and our environment.

    • Education and Training: Workforce training and education are essential to support a transition to diverse and well-paying clean transportation sector careers. Expanded training opportunities will be especially important for residents and businesses in disadvantaged communities.

    • Stakeholder Engagement and Public-Private Partnerships: Stakeholder engagement that ensures representation from traditionally underrepresented, overburdened, and underserved communities across all the proposed strategies in this Blueprint will be essential to achieving an equitable transportation future. Partnerships among regional, state, local, and Tribal governments, with disadvantaged communities, the private sector, and philanthropic organizations, will also be critical. All levels of government need to align their efforts and work with private industry and community stakeholders to support sustained and targeted actions.

    A CALL TO ACTION

    This Blueprint, which is an important step toward a decarbonized transportation future, will be followed by more detailed decarbonization Action Plans. The agencies will develop and implement the Action Plans and will work with other federal agencies, governments at the regional, state, local, and Tribal levels, philanthropic organizations, the private sector, and with global partners to achieve the following milestones:

    Before 2030 – Turning the Tide on Transportation GHGs: Research and Investments to Support Deployment

    Maximize the impact of the historic BIL/IRA investments and catalyze collaboration and private investments…

    2030-2040 – Accelerating Change: Scaling Up Deployment of Clean Solutions

    Adapt strategies and implementation plans in response to global events, consumer response, and technology progress…

    2040-2050 – Completing the Transition: A Sustainable and Equitable Future

    Ensure that no one is left behind and do our part to achieve a net-zero-emissions economy…

    Climate strategies must also help communities fulfill their equity and environmental justice responsibilities. Overburdened and historically underserved communities continue to bear the economic and health burdens of higher emissions, noise, and worsened air quality, and it is critical that these communities are not left behind in the transition to a decarbonized economy, as called for in the President’s Justice40 Initiative (see textbox on page 16). Strategies that combat the climate crisis have the ability to strengthen all communities and ensure that infrastructure investments will address current and future needs and avoid the unequal impacts of the past. Moreover, we must ensure that our investments in low-carbon solutions build resilience to the impacts of climate change that disproportionately affect some communities. Building a clean, safe, secure, accessible, affordable, equitable, and decarbonized transportation system will ultimately deliver significant co-benefits to all communities.

    Many aspects of consumer decisions and business actions will shape the strategies in this Blueprint, and the strategies themselves will continue to be influenced by evolving macroeconomic trends, technological progress, behavioral changes, and other factors. Therefore, this Blueprint should not be viewed as static. To effectively address the climate crisis, we must be able to adjust course and act quickly to meet the decarbonization goals outlined here. With the resources available in the BIL and the IRA, a path to achieving our climate goals and avoiding climate catastrophe is clearer than ever. But realizing these goals and doing so in a way that maximizes equity and environmental justice will require careful planning and decisive coordinated actions. Our agencies are committed to meeting our nation’s goals, and we call on other stakeholders to help us. Success will require unprecedented coordination among every level of government, private industry, communitybased organizations, stakeholder groups, and all Americans. Decarbonizing our transportation sector is achievable, and the benefits will improve the lives of Americans for generations to come.

    The time to act is now…

    Saturday, January 14, 2023

    Weather Whiplash In The Western Climate

    This atmospheric river's storms are punishing California like Indiana Jones whipped his opponents. From WHAS11-TV via YouTube

    And Yet The Drought Goes On

    Despite recent rainstorms, California reservoirs remain below normal levels, which helps make clear why it is not just a hard winter but a climate crisis. From Mister VS-ter via YouTube

    U.S. Offshore Wind Is Catching Up With The World

    Europe and China started almost a decade ago but the Biden administration is getting the U.S. industry into action at last. From American Clean Power Association via YouTube

    Friday, January 13, 2023

    A World Coming To A Boil

    ‘A world rapidly warming’: The past eight years were the eight warmest on record for planet

    Ivana Kottasová, January 10, 2023 (CNN)

    “The last eight years have been the eight warmest on record as the growing concentration of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere pushes global temperatures toward a dangerous tipping point…[As confirmed by UK, French, and German reports] 2022 was the fifth-warmest year for the planet since records began [according to a new European Union study. It] brought record-breaking heatwaves in Europe, deadly floods in Pakistan, extreme widespread flooding in Australia, and that saw the Antarctic Sea reach its lowest minimum extent on record…

    …[The] annual average temperature reached 1.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, marking the eighth year in a row of temperatures at least 1 degree above the 1850 to 1900 reference period…The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) identified the 1.5-degree mark as a key threshold and said breaching it would dramatically increase the risk of extreme weather events and irreversible changes…

    …[T]the report showed continued rising of] atmospheric concentration of CO2 and methane, potent greenhouse gasses that trap heat in the atmosphere and warm the planet…[to] an annual average of 417 parts per million in 2022, an increase of 2.1 parts per million compared to 2021…[Carbon in the atmosphere has not been this high in around 2 million years…Scientists say the link between the greenhouse gasses concentrations and the rising temperatures is unmistakable…” click here for more