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California Renewable Energy Legislation / Progress

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by RubberToe, Jun 5, 2015.

  1. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    All,
    Thought I would start this new thread since there is periodic news made concerning this, and it would be good to track this so that we can collectively have some idea of what implications these laws will have going forward. The current RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standard) was first established in 2002, and modified several times since then. It requires 33% renewable energy by 2020. I periodically post in the "Solar Happenings" thread about the almost daily increases being seen in the renewables % of total electricity generation. I'll start posting that information here since it is California specific, and includes more than just solar. For program details see this page.

    The L.A. Times had a recent story, seen here about some recent State Senate and Assembly action to codify into law some things the Governor discussed in his recent state of the state speech. The extent of it is pretty significant, even by California standards, so I thought I would detail some of the items. I think that some of these will absolutely impact large scale energy storage going forward. There was another link I saw for Tesla news that showed that one of the companies that was supplying utility scale energy storage selected Tesla as their battery supplier, due to the enormous cost advantage. See that story here. Thats for 500MWh of storage. The storage requirements per year as identified here are: 2014=200MW, 2016=270, 2018=365, 2020=490. Those numbers each represent additional "added" capacity, not total capacity.

    The legislation highlights are:

    SB350: Increases the 33% by 2020 renewable mandate to 50% by 2030.
    SB350: Also decreases gasoline use by 50% and doubles energy efficiency in older buildings.
    SB32: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050
    SB185: Requires the two state pension funds, the countries largest public funds, to divest from coal.
    AB1288: Eliminates the expiration date for the cap-and-trade program.
    SB788: Bans new offshore drilling in the Tranquillon Ridge in the Santa Barbara Channel, existing rigs allowed to continue producing.

    One of the opponents of the renewable mandate said: "We have a very lofty and noble goal," said Senate Republican leader Bob Huff (R-San Dimas). "But other than feeling good about it, what does it accomplish?"

    I would answer that what it is going to accomplish is that it is going to spur development of new technologies to not only vastly reduce the amount of fossil fuels being used, but also to start moving in the direction of allowing for more decentralized power generation and distribution. As the cost of these systems comes down, as it absolutely will with scale, the number of places where it can be economically deployed will skyrocket. There are so many places in the world where electricity is either not available, or extremely unreliable. This will allow many of those areas to implement a solar/storage solution that is able to provide 24/7 reliable power. That is a complete game changer from a business standpoint, which is why Tesla is going "all in" in the energy storage business.

    Opponents can't seem to understand that while there are going to be jobs lost drilling for oil, running refineries, and running filling stations, the new technologies being developed will create entire new industries. It's all about looking past the next quarterly report. We are not going to be burning oil "forever", so whats the point in waiting to start making the transition? Those same people who are losing their jobs will find better work building solar panels, working in the Giga-Factory, and designing and installing the micro-grid systems that we will be seeing more of in the immediate future. Hmmm, what pays better, pumping gas or designing micro-grid energy solutions? Either we do it, or someone else will do it, and we will be paying them for the technology.

    In the California Legislature, the opponents of what is happening cannot stop the train. No way, not now, not ever. They can cry and moan all they want, but they are outgunned, and will remain so for the foreseeable future. They need to start being part of the solution, and by doing so maybe can once again become a relevant factor in running the state. At some point, because of the legislation mentioned above, the economic benefits and the social benefits will start significantly impacting the bottom line. Everyone understands the bottom line. Thats the tipping point. It's just a matter of when we reach it, not if.

    RT
     
    • Like x 1
  2. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    So we hit another milestone last Sunday. Just before that tropical storm started rolling in yesterday, we hit 60,000 MWh (60,230 actual) of solar in a single day for the first time. Almost 20% total renewable generation for the day:

    Solar Achievement.jpg

    In the other thread (solar happenings), I mentioned back in April that March was the first month ever in California that we generated a total of over 1,000,000 MWh of utility scale solar power. That continued, and we will likely never be below that level again. Here are the numbers:
    March 2015: 1,203,016 MWh
    April 2015: 1,350,795 MWh
    May 2015: 1,410,126 MWh

    RT
     
  3. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    Don't you think it will likely drop below TWh levels in November due to seasonal factors?
     
  4. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    Also wondering if and increase of 13% by 2020 can be done.
     
  5. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    Miimura,
    Last year saw Nov. and Dec. total power values of 836,000 MWh and 581,000 MWh respectively. January 2015 was above December 2014 by quite a bit. The thing is, capacity is being installed over time. And I have no knowledge of actual capacity installed other than just looking at the YOY increases in power output. Here are the YOY monthly total power increases for 2015 over 2014:
    Jan: 170,000
    Feb: 329,000
    Mar: 373,000
    Apr: 412,000
    May: 375,000

    The way I interpret this data for say May would be something like: "All the installed capacity between May 2014 and May 2015 resulted in an additional 375,000 MWh of power being produced in May 2015 versus May 2014.

    That doesn't really tell us exactly when during the year that capacity was installed. And we of course do not know what if any will be installed between now and the beginning of December. So I think that we will just have to wait and see how the monthly numbers look between now and then. If they keep trending at say 400,000 additional MWh per month, then the 581,000 + 400,000 could produce maybe 981,000 this December. Pure speculation of course.

    RT
     
  6. Ampster

    Ampster Member

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    Dont forget AB2514 which established a 1.3 GWhr storage goal by 2020.
     
  7. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    Just came across this while following up on a story about Oregon doing a pilot test of charging for miles driven versus a gas tax. California is starting up their own pilot program soon. You can find all the details in the following link. You can sign up to receive updates, and even volunteer to be in the program. I volunteered, and am hoping that since I'm an EV driver, they might want to include me since I'm not paying any gas tax currently. Then again, maybe the idea is to gauge how much the "miles driven" tax would generate versus the "gas tax", which might make them exclude EV's? Will have to see when the details are hammered out. They are also soliciting input from the public, so you may want to comment if you have any ideas concerning how the program should be structured.

    California Road Charge Pilot Program

    TAC Meeting.jpg
     
  8. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    Thanks for this. I've signed up as well, and will be happy to pilot the first program of what's sure to be the future of personal vehicle travel taxes...
     
  9. cpa

    cpa Member

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    I think I will check this out as well! Thanks for your work, Rubber!
     
  10. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    Looks like the program start date has been moved up from "No later than January 1st, 2017" to the summer of 2016.

    Here is the e-mail from the program:

    We would like to thank you for your interest to volunteer as a participant in the California Road Charge Pilot Program. As a potential volunteer, you can expect email updates periodically to keep you informed about the progress and latest developments of the pilot.

    Though details of the actual pilot are currently under development and recommendations on its framework won’t officially be ready until December 2015, one notable change is that the pilot schedule has been modified so that the pilot test will begin the Summer of 2016 and conclude Spring of 2017.

    This is a critical time for the transportation system in the State of California. Funding for roadway maintenance is decreasing every year. As a volunteer, you will help the state determine if a road charge system is a viable replacement to the gas tax. Thank you for your interest with this important effort!

    Best Regards,

    The Road Charge Pilot Program Team
     
  11. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    Well,
    Some sunny weather toward the end of the month and 31 days pushed us over another milestone. In July 2015, solar power in California generated over 1,500,000 MWh of power. Thats 1.50TWh. Here are the numbers for the last 5 months:

    March 2015: 1,203,016 MWh
    April 2015: 1,350,795 MWh
    May 2015: 1,410,126 MWh
    June 2015: 1,438,400 MWh
    July 2015: 1,502,566 MWh

    Upthread I mentioned that June 7th was the first day we hit 60,000+ MWh in a single day. Since then, we hit that level 12 more times. For July the total power for the month was 41% above 2014, which is great. The daily maximum for the month, which is probably more indicative of the total installed generating capacity, was 36% higher.

    RT
     
  12. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    If they did something here, I'd volunteer my Volt. I don't know how they'd decide my "EV %". Or the fee. But I'd settle for an EV mile price of <tax per gallon>/<best-size-equivalent mpg> and taking my car's word for it on the percentage.
     
  13. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    August totals are in now. And strangely enough, the total power and peak power are nearly identical to the July YOY numbers. Here is the raw data again, including the prior several months:

    March 2015: 1,203,016 MWh
    April 2015: 1,350,795 MWh
    May 2015: 1,410,126 MWh
    June 2015: 1,438,400 MWh
    July 2015: 1,502,566 MWh
    August 2015: 1,523,599 MWh

    August total power was up 41.91% over 2014, and the max peak (5,739MW) was up 35.7% over 2014. Only 1 day saw 60,000+ MWh of total power. Shorter days == less total power :wink:

    RT
     
  14. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    SB 350 passed last Friday, and will be signed by the Governor shortly. The biggest positive outcome being the raising of the RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standard) from the current target of 33% by 2020, to 50% by 2030. There was much hoopla over the fact that some Democrats balked at the other provision which would have mandated a 50% reduction in petroleum use in cars and trucks by 2030 too. The 50% renewable by 2030 has some pretty huge implications for energy storage.

    Half Of Californias Electricity Will Come From Renewable Energy In 15 Years | ThinkProgress

    Also, it looks like there is some discussion of getting other Western states involved in grid interconnection:

    Plans to join PacifiCorp with CAISO grid move closer to reality | Utility Dive

    RT
     
  15. Ampster

    Ampster Member

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    Thanks for that. I am out of the country but thought I read that some of the Demo bolted. Good news.
     
  16. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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  17. adiggs

    adiggs Active Member

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    Clearly California is tackling a problem that needs to be tackled - where will the money come from that pays for the road infrastructure? Between efficiency and alternative fuel choices, they are anticipating gas tax receipts to be cut in half soon enough that planning and finding an alternative funding mechanism is worth doing ASAP.

    Just looking through the Executive Summary, it reads to me like they're thinking about this as a much more complex problem than it needs to be. Or more accurately, instead of fudging the numbers and assuming border crossing balances out, the better approach is to keep track of miles driven by anybody on CA roads (and presumably the same for any other state), and have each state collect on all the miles driven in that state. This latter approach worries me - even if the system is never breached, any system that collects data about where cars have gone, is a system that can be used by governmental agencies to monitor citizens and businesses. And that's data that is subject to discovery in legal proceedings, which means it's subject to national security letters and no public oversight.

    There will be resistance to being too comprehensive in the tracking.


    Then again, I'm a fan of keeping it simple. Record my odometer reading each year at vehicle registration time, and charge me a road tax based on the difference between this year and last year. If the states need to do it, use a statistical model to assess how many miles are driven on Oregon roads by Californians (and vice versa), and do a state level transfer to balance it out.

    I wonder if there is an assessment in the Program design of this style of a system, and why it's not adequate? (I didn't look closely enough at the TOC).
     
  18. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    Thought I would provide an end of year update on the Solar PV numbers. Here are the last several months of total power data:

    March 2015: 1,203,016 MWh
    April 2015: 1,350,795 MWh
    May 2015: 1,410,126 MWh
    June 2015: 1,438,400 MWh
    July 2015: 1,502,566 MWh
    August 2015: 1,523,599 MWh
    September 2015: 1,321,995 MWh
    October 2015: 1,155,315 MWh
    November 2015: 1,023,811 MWh
    December 2015: 878,285 MWh

    It looks like going forward, not clear if we will dip below the 1,000,000 MWh monthly level again. January 2015 total power was 690,301. From October through December the YOY total power % increases were (27%, 33% and 59%). So either the weather is doing this, or the end of year saw some pretty sizable additions. The monthly maximum peak power is probably a better estimator of the capacity online. Those numbers for October through December were (33%, 30% and 22%). If you take the 690,301 and assume say 30%, you get up to about 900,000 MWh. So given that and our buddy El Nino, probably need to wait until February to hit the 1Tw level and not look back.

    I just read an article about Diablo Canyon, and there is some question whether PG&E plans on operating it past the 2024 licensed period. Apparently they need to give the state ISO about 10 years notice for planning purposes. Just for fun I checked and saw that it generates 18,000GWh annually, or 1.5TWh monthly. So that one plant generates more total power per month than all the utility scale installed solar PV in the entire state. If solar keeps growing at the current rate between now and then, a significant portion if not all of that capacity could be replaced with PV. Thats base load power though, so unless the storage ramps up considerably too, it's going to take more than just a bunch solar panels to replace Diablo Canyon.

    The following graph from the ISO website illustrates this pretty well. This data was from yesterday:

    Diablo.jpg

    RT
     
  19. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    The road charge pilot program is now taking applications and will start up this summer. They hope to sign up 5,000 volunteers. The payments users will make will be mock payments, so no cash outlay is involved. See here for signing up:

    California Road Charge Pilot Program

    - - - Updated - - -

    When you sign up, they even send you a sample e-mail that you can pass along to friends, shown here:

    Hi ______ ,

    I wanted to let you know that I have signed up to be a volunteer for the California Road Charge Pilot Program, it’s free and easy!

    It’s no secret that our roadways are in need of repair. Due to shrinking funding from the gas tax, increased road maintenance cost, the age of our roadways, and more fuel-efficient vehicles, California’s transportation system will continue to get worse without the funds to sustain them.

    In response to this problem, the Legislature passed Senate Bill (SB) 1077 directing California to conduct a pilot program to study the feasibility of a road charge as a replacement for the gas tax to pay for road maintenance and repairs. Road charge is a policy where drivers pay to help maintain the roads based on the distance they travel or a period of time they use the roads, rather than the amount of gasoline they consume.

    The California Road Charge Pilot Program is a multi-year endeavor that, at its core, strives to engage the public in order to gain input and feedback. You can help in this effort by volunteering to participate in the live pilot demonstration just like I did!

    Learn more at the California Road Charge Pilot Program website and volunteer today.
    (Email Signature)

    Join the California Road Charge Pilot!
     
  20. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    Hit another milestone on 2-15, a nice sunny day given the elusive El Nino...

    solarthermanrecord.jpg

    Peak solar production hit 6,000MW for the first time. That eclipses last years peak of 5,779 which happened on 9-17-15. Mind you we beat this in February. The current peak values are running about 25% ahead of last years, so extrapolating to September, the prior 5,779 could be as high as 7,250MW. Monthly total power is running about 33% above the prior year.

    RT
     

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