U.S. Energy News

Last California nuclear plant to close within 10 years

NUCLEAR: Pacific Gas and Electric plans to close the last nuclear plant in California within 10 years, replacing it with efficiency, renewables and storage. (Los Angeles Times)

ALSO:
• The “big economic lesson” here is not simply about the amount of carbon emissions saved, but that operating costs for many nuclear reactors “has become very high.” (Forbes)
• Environmental groups that back nuclear power hope plans to close the Diablo Canyon plant fail. (Forbes)
• Decommissioning a nuclear plant is a long and expensive process, though PG&E officials are optimistic. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

COAL:
• A White House study says the federal government’s coal-leasing program is costing taxpayers billions of dollars a year “due to lax oversight and permissive royalty rules.” (Reuters)
• At a public meeting in Seattle on proposed changes to the federal coal-leasing program, coal critics far outnumbered supporters. (Seattle Times)

GRID: This summer, Consolidated Edison will begin developing a “virtual power plant” in New York that involves solar-plus-storage at 300 customer locations. (Utility Dive)

CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY: In a new survey, 72 percent of companies say they are actively procuring renewable energy, driven largely by corporate sustainability policies rather than price alone. (Greentech Media)

SOLAR: Supporters of a net metering referendum in Nevada submit double the amount of signatures needed to get on the ballot. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

EFFICIENCY: A consumer advocacy group and a clean energy group are pushing Illinois utilities to allow customers to share real-time energy usage data with third parties as a way to increase energy efficiency. (Midwest Energy News)

FRACKING:
• A federal district judge says the federal Bureau of Land Management lacks authority to set rules on fracking. (Associated Press)
• Supporters of the Obama administration’s rules for fracking on public and tribal lands say the new regulations are overdue and can coexist with state laws. (EnergyWire)

RATES: Opposition mounts against an Arizona utility’s request to institute demand charges for residential customers. (Phoenix Business Journal)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Widespread adoption of electric vehicles could reduce U.S. gasoline demand by up to 20 percent over the next 20 years. (Fortune)
• New Jersey launches a grant program to expand the number of electric vehicle charging stations in the state. (NJ.com)

REGULATION: The former general counsel of the Nevada Public Utilities Commission denies that her resignation was due to controversial social media posts. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

STORAGE:
• President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers say storage will help deliver greater penetration of wind and solar, “dismantling” critics’ longstanding argument that renewables can’t compete with baseload sources like coal and gas. (Washington Post)
• The distributed energy trend can help municipal utilities “reinvent” themselves through software-managed energy storage, according to a research and consulting firm. (Utility Dive)

TRANSPORTATION: New Jersey may have to take the once “politically unthinkable” route of raising the state’s gasoline tax to improve transportation infrastructure. (New York Times)

MERGERS: Tesla offers to buy solar installation firm SolarCity — both under the direction of Elon Musk — for $2.8 billion to create a “clean energy powerhouse” that could sell customers an electric car, home battery and solar system all at once. (Reuters)

OIL AND GAS: A new study finds extreme oil prices — whether high or low — may hamper climate change efforts. (Climate Central)

POLITICS: Presidential candidate Donald Trump turns to the coal industry to boost his campaign war chest. (Grist)

COMMENTARY:
• The federal Bureau of Land Management has an “ideal opportunity” to redesign its coal-leasing program so it’s not selling rights to mine for a “pittance.” (Sightline Institute)
• Offshore wind makes good economic sense for the Carolinas. (Southeast Energy News)
• It will be a “tricky balancing act” for PG&E to displace generation from the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant with efficiency and renewables rather than natural gas. (Vox)

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