The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is scheduled to vote tomorrow (1/27/05) on who will control about $400 million in state energy efficiency funds [see CPUC proceeding R0108028] Community aggregation advocate groups including Local Power and Women’s Energy Matters are demanding that the CPUC let community choice aggregators (CCAs) control and administer their own efficiency programs rather than give all the money and co… Read More
The California Energy Commission (CEC) began an investigation in April 2004 via a diverse working group to explore a variety of issues associated with the deployment of distributed generation (DG) including interconnection rules – formally referred to as Rule 21. Implementation of California’s standardized interconnection rules issued in 2000 have been an important priority for California because it eliminated a significant barrier to the safe and cost-effective deployment of DG in the State.
Since enactment of the nation’s first state mandate for nearly all diesel fuel sold in the state to contain a small percentage of biodiesel, there was always some uncertainty whether or not production facilities would be built to meet the goal in the law. Language in the law would have allowed the mandate to never take effect unless the in-state production reached 8,000,000 gallons per year. With the opening of one plant in December and two more under construction, the mandate is expected to come into force at the end of June 2005.
One of the world’s fastest growing energy technologies is wind power. Landowners on windy sites face a choice – to lease their land to wind developers or to own the turbines themselves. Leasing land provides a landowner with a relatively risk free venture with a steady stream of income. Owning a wind energy project involves more risk but offers landowners significantly more potential revenue.… Read More
Everyone knows that President Bush was reelected on November 2nd but did you know that voters in three municipalities voted to take control of their electric systems? In Rolfe, Iowa (pop. 675), the vote was 182-19, in Wellman, Iowa (pop. 1,393) the vote was 470-159, and in Auburn, New York (pop. 28,574) the vote was 4,726-987 to allow their cities to form municipally-owned power companies. The two Iowa cities already control their natural gas utilities so the move toward electricity should be a natural extension.… Read More
Themedia simply report on California’s shortfall of thousands of megawatts and limit the discussion to President Bush’s energy plan and Gov. Gray Davis’ plea for wholesale rate caps. They’re missing the real story. California may need thousands of megawatts of generating capacity in the long run, but the rolling blackouts hit only a few blocks at a time. This summers’ electricity crisis, therefore, isn’t going to be dealt with in Washington or even Sacramento, but at the local and neighborhood level.
Inthe beginning, before there were giant utilities and high voltage transmission lines, and state and federal regulatory agencies and rolling blackouts, companies didn’t sell electricity. They sold power plants. By 1883, the Edison Electric Illuminating Company (later General Electric) had installed 334 power plants inside cotton mills, grain elevators, manufacturing plants, newspapers and theaters.
This policy brief by David Morris and John Bailey from November 1998, looked at potential changes to utility property taxes in Minnesota. The state was re-examining the utility tax structure in light of the restructuring of electricity occurring throughout the country. The rationale for this re-examination is that if Minnesota were to deregulate its electricity sector, customers would be able to buy electricity from any supplier. If taxes were imposed on in-state power plants but not on out-of-state suppliers, it would result in a competitive disadvantage to in-state generators.… Read More
Thisspeech by David Morris was originally presented at a conference of the Environmental Grantmakers Association 1998 Retreat in Houston, Texas, on October 28, 1998. Letme begin with what I hope is a relatively uncontroversial proposition. Rules Matter. Some of you may have a visceral reaction to the word"rules", for it conjures up notions of meddling and government bureaucracies. But the reality is that human societies always have and always will make rules that channel scientific genius, and investment capital and entrepreneurial energy in certain directions. We make the rules, and to a large extent, the rules make us.… Read More