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Renewable Energy Update
June 2, 2017

Renewable Energy Focus

Trump quits the Paris climate accord, denouncing it as a violation of U.S. sovereignty

Los Angeles Times - Jun 1 The U.S. will pull out of the Paris accord on global warming, President Trump announced Thursday. The move will not fully take effect for four years, under the terms of the agreement. During that time, Trump said, he hopes to negotiate a new agreement “on terms that are fair to the United States.” That’s not likely to be easy. In advance of the announcement, world leaders lobbied Trump heavily to stay in the agreement, and repeatedly announced their intentions to stick with the terms that were agreed to in Paris in 2015 after years of laborious negotiations. Trump said the accord would allow China, India, and other major polluters to continue emitting greenhouse gases while imposing unfair burdens on the U.S., and would cost the U.S. millions of jobs. Supporters of the agreement, which include many Republican business leaders as well as environmental activists, say just the opposite — that steps to combat global warming would help the U.S. economy by building up new industries, especially solar and wind power. The agreement, which almost every country in the world has joined, is designed to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in order to keep temperatures from rising by more than 2 degrees Celsius compared with pre-industrial levels. 

California moves a step closer to 100% renewables mandate

North American Windpower - Jun 1 The California State Senate has passed a bill that would transition the state to 100% renewable energy. In a 25-13 vote on Wednesday, the Senate passed S.B.100, which aims to both accelerate and expand the state’s current 50% by 2030 renewable portfolio standard (RPS). The bill, sponsored by Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, would speed up the renewables mandate to 50% by 2026 and establish an ultimate goal of 100% by 2045. If it becomes law, the legislation would put California on par with Hawaii, the only other state with a 100% RPS. The measure now goes to the California Assembly for consideration.

U.S. renewables growth is 40 years ahead of previous forecast

Solar Industry Magazine - May 30 The share of domestic electrical production by renewable energy has now greatly eclipsed earlier projections by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), according to the SUN DAY campaign. The nonprofit organization says that in the EIA’s 2012 Annual Energy Outlook, the agency forecast that renewable energy generation would increase by 77% from 2010 to 2025 (from 10% to 15%). The EIA’s 2012 report further forecast that wind capacity would increase from 39 gigawatts in 2010 to 70 gigawatts in 2035 and that solar would reach 24 gigawatts of capacity in 2035. In reality, says SUN DAY, citing a new Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) report, which includes data for the first three months of 2017, wind generating capacity already totals 84.59 gigawatts  while utility-scale solar capacity has reached 25.84 gigawatts (not including distributed small-scale systems, such as rooftop solar).

A look at Sacramento’s use of distributed energy and customer data

Greentech Media - Jun 1 Utilities traditionally haven’t had to consider the vagaries of consumer behavior as a big part of their grid investment and power procurement plans. But with the rise of customer-owned solar PV, plug-in electric vehicles, demand response, behind-the-meter batteries, and other distributed energy resources (DERs), leaving the customer out of the equation is no longer an option, at least, not for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). In fact, the utility DER projects that its customers and third-party companies are financing around $150 million to $200 million per year. That’s more than what SMUD spends on all the utility-scale solar and wind energy it's procuring to meet the state’s renewable portfolio standard, indicating how important a role they will play in the utility's carbon and green energy goals. This week, SMUD and the Smart Electric Power Alliance released a case study examining the utility's efforts to create an integrated DER planning process.

Los Angeles awaits geothermal surge

reNews - Jun 1 Nevada's Ormat Technologies has finalized a 150-megawatt power purchase agreement to provide energy from nine geothermal plants to the Southern California Public Power Authority. Energy deliveries, which will be on-sold to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, are expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2017, Ormat said. The entire production portfolio is expected to be on line by 2022 as new plants are developed.

Sonoma Clean Power adds wind to energy sourcing

North Bay Business Journal - May 24 Sonoma Clean Power broke ground last week on a project that will update an existing wind power facility and bring more wind power in-state. The Golden Hills North Wind Facility, in the western central valley community of Tracy, will remove 283 30-year-old wind turbines and replace them with 20 2.3-megawatt GE turbines, capable of generating more power with twice the efficiency of the previous wind project. Sonoma Clean Power is a community choice aggregation, or CCA, organization, created under state policy to allow local governments to pool their electricity load so they can provide alternative energy sources.

L.A. Cleantech Incubator gets $5 million to Energize California

L.A. Biz - Jun 1 In a bid to strengthen Southern California’s clean-energy economy, the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator has launched a new initiative called Energize California with a six-year, $5 million grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC). The grant is part of the CEC’s statewide initiative to meet increasing demand for innovation in the energy sector as more renewable resources are deployed. Energize California will serve as the central coordinating organization for the clean-energy sector in Southern California and will convene industry leaders to support new technologies and entrepreneurs in Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, and Orange Counties.

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Devine William R William R. Devine
Land Use & Development | Real Estate | Environmental & Natural Resources | Investment Management Group | Residential & Multifamily | Real Estate Transactions
Orange County
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Barry H. Epstein Barry H. Epstein
Land Use & Development | Environmental & Natural Resources | Real Estate | Infrastructure | Energy & Utilities | Real Estate Transactions
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Renée Louise Robin Renée Louise Robin
Senior Counsel
Environmental & Natural Resources | Land Use & Development
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Upcoming Events

Planning for Utility-Scale Solar PV in the San Joaquin Valley: What Does the Future Hold?
June 6, 2017
San Francisco, California
Editor's Note: Renée Robin will be a featured panelist at this event.


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