OPEC cuts output to prop up prices

 CaliforniaGeo 12-5-16 As reported by the Associated Press, OPEC will cut production for the first time in eight years as a step to prop up prices.  In theory, less supply raises prices if demand is otherwise steady.  But skeptics forecast that individual OPEC producers will cheat, exporting more than their assigned allotment. Why? The reasons […]

Trump climate policies worry many—perhaps unnecessarily

CaliforniaGeo 11-27-16 Presidential candidate Donald Trump promised to bring back coal extraction and use, and made disparaging remarks about renewable energy.  So much and so often that many green thinking citizens are scared stiff over reversals in climate change policy. “Drill, baby, Drill!” former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin is reported as seeking the cabinet post […]

Geo system provides direct cooling of an emergency operations center in Florida

Geo Exchange® provides direct cooling via groundwater CaliforniaGeo 11-16-16  The Pinellas County Emergency Operations Center in Florida isn’t any different than similar facilities across the country. It needs to be up and running—no matter what. However, because cooling is such a large part of the energy load here, the facility sought to attempt operating cost reductions late […]

Tesla will limit use of fast charging EV stations for new cars in 2017

CaliforniaGeo 11-10-16 Tesla Motors will cease unlimited, free fast-charging for any of its cars ordered or sold after of January 1, 2017.  After that, such cars will receive credit at charging stations for the equivalent of 1,000 miles of travel each year.  This change is likely due to anticipated production of Tesla’s Model 3, a […]

Earthquake swarms from Oklahoma fracking

5.0 earthquake damages town in Oklahoma Reprinted in the Sacramento Bee 11-8-16 The Associated Press JIM BECKEL The Oklahoman Dozens of buildings in Cushing, Okla., were damaged by a 5.0-magnitude earthquake Sunday. The town is home to one of the world’s most important oil hubs.  CUSHING, OKLA. Dozens of buildings had “substantial damage” after a […]

SMUD Cancels New Pumped-Storage Generation for Other Renewables

SMUD cancels $1.45 billion hydro project Utility cites rising costs, new power technologies Estimates rose from about $800 million to $1.45 billion SMUD says it’s working on other power-generating options Sacramento Bee 2-6-16 BY MARK GLOVER mglover@sacbee.com      The Sacramento Municipal Utility District has canceled plans to build a $1.45 billion hydroelectric project at […]

Fossil fuel, utility interests spend $3.1M on Ohio elections

Report: Fossil fuel, utility interests spend $3.1M on Ohio elections BRIEF,  From Utility Dive Weekly Newsletter  Nov. 4, 2016 AUTHOR  Robert Walton Dive Brief: •  Fossil fuel interests including utilities spent $3.1 million this year, through October, on issues and candidates leading up to next week’s election, Midwest Energy News reports.  •  Midwest Energy News […]

9th Circuit orders $200M refund for state’s energy crisis

Sacramento Bee 9-10-16 BY DALE KASLER dkasler@sacbee.com California’s electrical grid is run from Folsom by the Independent System Operator, seen in 2012.  A federal appeals court ruling backed a federal order that penalized five electricity providers for state’s energy crisis in 2000 and 2001. More than 15 years after the last rolling blackout, California officials are […]

Western Cooling Efficiency Center saves watts and grid peaks

A University of California, Davis laboratory strives for efficiencies (Based on a personal visit 10-17–16) To accelerate development and commercialization of efficient heating, cooling, and energy distribution solutions through stakeholder engagement, innovation, R&D, education and outreach. That’s WCEC’s Mission Statement.  It reflects a nexus of university capacity, research and development, and industry effort in the search […]

Santa Monica Adopts World’s First Zero Net Energy Building Ordinance

Condensed from “City of Santa Monica News” 10-27–16 Santa Monica’s vote for a 2017 Zero Net Energy Ordinance is an update to its Green Building Ordinance, which is California’s first.  It affects single family homes.  There are also non-ZNE requirements that force multi-family and high rise structures to use between 10 and 15 percent less […]