California to rely on 100% clean electricity by 2045 under bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown

All of California’s electricity will come from clean power sources by 2045 under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday, the latest in a series of ambitious goals set by the state to combat the effects of climate change.

Senate Bill 100 by state Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) requires the state to obtain all of its electricity from clean sources — such as solar, wind and hydropower — by 2045. The bill also requires electric utilities and other service providers to generate 60% of their power from renewable sources by 2030, up from the 50% goal previously set for that date.

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California Assembly advances 100% clean energy bill

California would set some of the nation’s strongest clean energy goals under legislation that cleared a key vote in the Assembly on Tuesday, bringing the state a step closer to ending its reliance on fossil fuels by phasing out their use to generate electricity.

The bill, which would require California to obtain 100% of its power from clean sources by 2045, has been debated by lawmakers for nearly two years as it faced cost and feasibility concerns. This week, high-profile state and national politicians gave the cause a push by arguing the plan would strengthen California’s leadership on the environment.

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Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia’s Geothermal Energy Proposal Prevails in Senate Appropriations

In the midst of fevered policy discussions surrounding the fate of California’s clean energy future, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia successfully advanced AB 893, his proposal supporting geothermal, out of the Senate Committee on Appropriations. The geothermal procurement mandated in this measure is of immense significance to the Riverside and Imperial County communities in Garcia’s district.

Geothermal energy creates high-paying jobs, not just during construction, pays property taxes and wields potential to provide additional revenue streams to some of the most impoverished areas of the state. Geothermal power plants employ six times more people than solar and 18 more times than wind while producing six times more to the local economy than both. In Imperial County, this industry serves as the largest taxpayer.

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California moves to preserve vehicle standards in face of EPA rollback

The fate of vehicle efficiency standards will have significant impacts on the electric power sector, particularly in California — the largest U.S. market for electric vehicles (EVs).

Studies suggest that meeting Gov. Jerry Brown’s ambitious EV targets could add more than 1 GW of power demand to the California grid, but the EPA’s proposed action would also revoke the state’s authority to set those targets.

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USA, California: Report Suggests More Geothermal Energy to Spread Clean Generation Throughout all Hours of the Day

Report recommends investing in more non-solar renewable energy sources to spread clean generation throughout all hours of the day.

California can retire at least 28 of its natural gas plants because they are no longer needed to meet the state’s electricity needs nor its carbon emissions reduction goals, according to an analysis released by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). 

California should adopt several strategies to reduce its dependence on gas generation, especially in evening hours including investing in more non-solar renewable energy sources to spread clean generation throughout all hours of the day.

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USA, California: Legislation Would Require Utilities in the Golden State to Purchase Thousands of Megawatts of Geothermal Power

In the halls of the capitol, lawmakers and lobbyists are debating bills that would bolster renewable energy sources like solar and wind, create an interstate electricity market covering much of the western U.S., make it easier for utilities to charge their customers for wildfire damages, and promote the construction of geothermal and hydroelectric power plants.

Two bills are of particular interest to the desert. One of them AB 893 from Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, would require utilities to purchase thousands of megawatts of geothermal power, potentially jump-starting development of geothermal power plants at the southern end of the Salton Sea. 

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The $2.5 trillion reason we can’t rely on batteries to clean up the grid

Fluctuating solar and wind power require lots of energy storage, and lithium-ion batteries seem like the obvious choice—but they are far too expensive to play a major role.

Not only is lithium-ion technology too expensive for this role, but limited battery life means it’s not well suited to filling gaps during the days, weeks, and even months when wind and solar generation flags.

This problem is particularly acute in California, where both wind and solar fall off precipitously during the fall and winter months. 

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Global demand for lithium to touch 1.0 Mt LCE by 2027

In 2017, Rechargeable Batteries Accounted For Over 43% Of Total Lithium Demand. The Increasing Use Of Li-Ion Batteries In Automotive Applications, Both For Hybrid And Fully-Electric Vehicles, Has Seen

Global demand for lithium, mainly driven by the lithium-ion battery industry, is set to grow exponentially will continue to be the main catalyst for its growth. The lithium ion battery industry, which accounted for around 50 percent of consumption in 2017, is expected to reach over 80 percent by 2027, says Roskill, a London-based consultancy agency.

The report states that growth in the consumption of lithium accelerated in 2017, by over 10 percent on 2016 levels, to reach 211,000t lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE). Automotive applications were the largest market for Li-ion batteries in 2017, with Chinese sales of plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) increasing by around 20 percent year on year. This placed a strain on the battery supply chain which is likely to continue; Roskill estimates Chinese PEV sales could reach around one million units in 2021.

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Op-ed: Save coal and nuclear power — we might need it

There is nothing more important for future electrical power in the United States than whether, in the wake of an enormous loss of baseload power due to overregulation in recent years, our country preserves financially stressed nuclear and coal plants for essential baseload power.

Although the Trump administration has taken steps to address the overzealous rules that have affected nuclear and coal plants and forced more than 120,000 megawatts from these entities into retirement since 2010, it’s clear the problem persists, and more must be done. Currently, 17,000 MW of coal-fired power are expected to be lost this year, and several large nuclear plants could close.

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California lawmakers push 100% clean energy bill closer to governor's desk

A California Assembly committee voted 10-5 in favor of raising the state's renewable energy target to 100%, giving new life to a proposal that had stalled last year.

Senate Bill 100 would require the state to utilize only renewable and zero-emission energy sources, including nuclear, by 2045. If Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signs it, the bill would raise the state's current 2030 target of 50% renewables to a 60% interim target.

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Lithium price may soften this year on ‘slight oversupply’ but EVs driving future optimism

Lithium carbonate prices fetched about $20 000/t in the first quarter, according to Benchmark, while lithium metal prices traded at over $140 000/t.

“Demand is fundamentally driven by battery demand,” he says, but battery demand is yet to “fully hit home”. “The auto era is yet to arrive. To date, there are no upstream deals with automakers struck yet, with Tesla being the only EV major that has secured some longer-term lithium supply.”

The price curves are not yet being driven by auto contracts, but this is expected to change as auto demand is seen through the increasing rates of battery and cathode consumption.

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Californians approve bond measure that will provide $200 million for Salton Sea

A total of $200 million for Salton Sea projects is rolled into the statewide ballot measure, which will also provide money for a variety of water projects, state and local parks, and wildlife conservation programs.

The $200 million for Salton Sea-related projects will include $170 million for the California Natural Resources Agency to pay for work on the state’s plan, plus $30 million for a local agency, the Salton Sea Authority, to support “projects that improve air quality and habitat benefits” and that implement the state’s plan. 

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Geothermal Power: Dual Market for Water Treatment and Lithium Extraction Technology

California’s large geothermal fields host more than 40 geothermal power plants. The Salton Sea region is considered the most abundant geothermal resource in the nation, reportedly containing significant amounts of lithium, manganese and zinc—essential materials for the battery and energy storage markets. In 2016, California and the U.S. Department of the Interior signed an agreement to work together on managing and developing the Salton Sea’s resources.

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Interview with KPBS Radio - The Forgotten Renewable: Geothermal Energy Production Heats Up

Interview with KPBS Radio - Listen Here

Three and a half hours east of Los Angeles lies the Salton Sea, a manmade oasis in the heart of the Mojave Desert. It was created in 1905, when a canal broke and the Colorado River flooded the desert for more than a year. The Sea became a tourist hotspot in the 1950's, perfect for swimming, boating, and kayaking. But now, people are coming here looking for something else.

Jim Turner is the chief operating officer of Controlled Thermal Resources, an energy company from Australia. On a hill overlooking the Salton Sea, he points out a patch of land that will someday house his company's first power plant, named Hell's Kitchen.

"We're standing on top of what is probably the most robust geothermal resource in the United States," he explains.

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Trump raises the thermostat for geothermal energy

The Trump administration is looking to carve out a place for geothermal energy in its energy abundance agenda, starting several initiatives to help the undervalued renewable resource expand beyond the volcanic Pacific region.

Geothermal power plants are one of the few renewable energy resources, outside of hydroelectric dams, that can provide a source of 24-hour-a-day electricity without interruption, known as baseload power. Arguably, geothermal is becoming more reliable than hydropower, given water scarcity issues in the West.

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