Friday, September 11, 2009

Still Waiting on 33%; SDG&E Plan to Cut Power Goes Down in Flames

As of Friday morning there was still no deal on consensus legislation to increase the state RPS to 33%. According to an Associated Press write-up:

"Democrats are pushing two bills that would require utilities to get a third of their power from renewable energy sources by 2020. It would be the most aggressive such standard in the nation.

How and where utilities would be allowed to get that energy remains a point of contention between the utilities, producers of renewable power, environmental groups and consumer advocates.

California already has one of the most aggressive standards of the 31 states that require utilities to generate a certain amount of their power from renewable sources, according to the Arlington, Va.-based Pew Center on Global Climate Change. In Hawaii, utilities must generate 40 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2030 — a longer timeframe than the goal being considered in California.

The Senate and Assembly are expected to vote on two companion bills by the end of Friday, the last day of the regular legislative session. Neither bill had Republican support in committee."

Elswhere, the PUC killed SDG&E's plan to shut off power to back country consumers during fire-prone weather conditions (high winds, low humidity). The vote was 4-1.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

" Opponents said the shut-off plan would endanger back-country residents by leaving them without electricity to pump water onto small fires. About 17 areas with 60,000 customers were targeted for shutoffs when humidity was low and winds hit a sustained rate of 35 mph or gusts up to 50 mph."