News and analysis about energy in California with an eye toward renewables.
Tribes Sue Over Large Solar Project In Riverside County

Tribes Sue Over Large Solar Project In Riverside County

Photovoltaic (PV): A group of Native tribes is hauling the Interior Department to court over the Blythe Solar Power Project, claiming Interior isn't paying enough attention to the site's cultural significance.
State Bill Would Classify Burning Tires as 'Renewable Energy'

State Bill Would Classify Burning Tires as 'Renewable Energy'

Commentary: You think California passes some wacky laws? The Michigan Senate is now considering a bill that would classify burning tires to generate power as "renewable energy."
It's Time for Independent Monitoring of Wildlife Kills at Renewable Energy Sites

It's Time for Independent Monitoring of Wildlife Kills at Renewable Energy Sites

Commentary: A recent lawsuit raises a question that's beginning to be asked by any number of people watching the renewable energy industry: Why do we trust renewable energy companies to report on their own wildlife kills?
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No Power Needed: High-Tech Mirrors Could Cool Buildings

No Power Needed: High-Tech Mirrors Could Cool Buildings

Technology: Okay, this made our eyes widen when we read it: A team of engineers at Stanford University has found a way to cool buildings by using interplanetary space as a heat sink.
Feds Deny Solar Project Near Mojave National Preserve

Feds Deny Solar Project Near Mojave National Preserve

Solar: A controversial large solar project that would have occupied more than 1,600 acres along the main scenic route between two desert National Parks won't be happening, it was announced Friday.
Oil Drilling Plans Near L.A. Neighborhood Prompt Calls for Review

Oil Drilling Plans Near L.A. Neighborhood Prompt Calls for Review

Natural Gas: Residents of a Los Angeles neighborhood have demanded a full environmental assessment of a company's proposal to expand oil drilling operations in the Santa Susana Mountains from 18 to 30 wells.
Group Asks For Court Review Of Natural Gas Plant

Group Asks For Court Review Of Natural Gas Plant

Natural Gas: A controversial proposed gas-fired power plant in San Diego County may become a topic of discussion by the California Supreme Court, as a local environmental group asks the court to reverse a decision allowing the plant to be built.
Romance May Have Derailed Science in California Energy Development

Romance May Have Derailed Science in California Energy Development

Government: The report details potential improper conduct by a senior adviser to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for energy, environment, and natural resources policy.
LADWP Sets Higher Energy Saving Goals

LADWP Sets Higher Energy Saving Goals

Conservation: The utility has set a goal to become 15 percent more energy efficient by 2020, exceeding the state's requirement for utilities to cut energy use by 10 percent, Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
'Dead' Solar Plant May Rise From Grave

'Dead' Solar Plant May Rise From Grave

Concentrating Solar: A controversial solar power tower project proposed for Riverside County that was recently pulled by its owners from consideration by the state of California will be brought back to the table by one of those owners, it was announced Tuesday.
Controversial Solar Plant Producing Way Less Power Than Expected

Controversial Solar Plant Producing Way Less Power Than Expected

Concentrating Solar: A solar power plant in the Mojave Desert that's attracted negative attention for its injuries to birds is producing a whole lot less power than it's supposed to, according to Energy Department figures.
Wind Project Pulled From San Bernardino Mountains

Wind Project Pulled From San Bernardino Mountains

Wind: A proposal that would have placed 71 wind turbines on the north slope of the San Bernardino Mountains has been withdrawn by its owner, according to the Bureau of Land Management.
Your Computer Wastes More Energy Than You Thought

Your Computer Wastes More Energy Than You Thought

Conservation: Studies commissioned by the state of California show that idle computers waste a whole lot more energy than we suspect.
Now You Can Find Energy Projects Proposed For Your Neighborhood

Now You Can Find Energy Projects Proposed For Your Neighborhood

Technology: A new mapping project can give Californians a "heads up" about pending energy projects in their neighborhoods, which can help neighbors wield better input into energy decision making that can affect their lives, their property values, and their health.
California's Renewable Energy Plan Misses the Point on Renewable Energy

California's Renewable Energy Plan Misses the Point on Renewable Energy

Commentary: And, in fact, the plan, several years in the making, is already outdated.
Summer Power Stayed on Despite Drought, Fires, Closed Nuke

Summer Power Stayed on Despite Drought, Fires, Closed Nuke

The Grid: Despite losing more than 2,000 megawatts of power from the shuttered San Onofre nuke and almost as much from drought-depleted reservoirs, California's power grid sailed through the long hot summer of 2014 -- with a little help from renewable energy.
California's Carbon Trading Program May Give You Money Soon

California's Carbon Trading Program May Give You Money Soon

Utilities: If each of the 10.7 million California households getting a Climate Credit bought two LEDs, the state could conserve the equivalent output of two mid-sized natural gas fired power plants.
California's Huge Renewable Energy Plan is Bad for Democracy

California's Huge Renewable Energy Plan is Bad for Democracy

Commentary: A draft plan to manage millions of acres in the California desert for renewable energy development is profoundly anti-democratic. Here's why.
Massive Solar Power Project for California Desert Scrapped

Massive Solar Power Project for California Desert Scrapped

Concentrating Solar: The owners of the proposed Palen Solar Electric Generating System formally withdrew their project from consideration by the state on Friday.
No! Wrong Way! U.S. Carbon Emissions Rising Again

No! Wrong Way! U.S. Carbon Emissions Rising Again

Climate Change: Well here's some news to ruin your weekend: the federal government's chief energy analysts say that despite a massive national investment in renewable energy, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are climbing again.
Nation's Largest Battery Storage Project Charges Forward in Kern County

Nation's Largest Battery Storage Project Charges Forward in Kern County

The Grid: The largest battery-based grid power storage system in North America just went online in Kern County.
Feds Broke Law Approving Wind Project Near Eagle Nests, Lawsuit Claims

Feds Broke Law Approving Wind Project Near Eagle Nests, Lawsuit Claims

Wind: A San Diego County-based conservation group and two area residents have sued the federal government over its approval of a wind project they say poses an unlawful risk to golden eagles.
Desert Energy Plan Would Devote 2 Million Acres To Renewables

Desert Energy Plan Would Devote 2 Million Acres To Renewables

DRECP: A long-awaited master planning document in the works since 2008 that will guide renewable energy development in the California desert is out in draft form Tuesday, and residents of the West Mojave and some other parts of the desert will not be happy.
What Does 'Carbon-Neutral' Really Mean?

What Does 'Carbon-Neutral' Really Mean?

Climate Change: As businesses start looking for ways not to affect the planet's natural carbon cycles, the phrases "carbon-neutral" and "carbon-negative" have increasingly become industry buzzwords. But what do they really mean?
Feds Fund Research Into Taller Wind Turbines

Feds Fund Research Into Taller Wind Turbines

Wind: The U.S. Department of Energy announced Thursday it's plowing $2 million into two groups working on ways to build wind turbines that are one and a half times taller than current designs.
California Set to Approve Controversial Solar Plant

California Set to Approve Controversial Solar Plant

Concentrating Solar: The California Energy Commission gave tentative approval Friday evening to a reconfigured solar power plant in Riverside County that opponents say potentially poses a serious risk to migrating birds.
Group Urges Public Comment on Desert Transmission Line

Group Urges Public Comment on Desert Transmission Line

The Grid: A group of concerned residents of the Mojave Desert is urging the public to make their feelings known about a controversial proposed transmission line that would run across 63 miles of the central Mojave Desert.
Report Shows Need to Protect Bird Habitat While Fighting Climate Change

Report Shows Need to Protect Bird Habitat While Fighting Climate Change

Commentary: A recent report by the Audubon Society underscores the dire future North American birds face if we don't act now to stem climate change. But that doesn't let industrial renewable energy facilities off the hook for harm they cause birds.
Rooftop Solar Leads to Cheaper Bills in More Ways Than You Thought

Rooftop Solar Leads to Cheaper Bills in More Ways Than You Thought

Conservation: Every once in a while a study reveals something new that makes perfect sense when you think about it. A recent example: a survey conducted by researchers for the San Diego-based Center for Sustainable Energy found that California homeowners who've shelled out for rooftop solar panels are far more likely to be interested in energy conservation.