January 12, 2013
Reader P.J. Gendell of Beverly Hills, in a letter published Thursday posed a question to journalist and climate-change activist Bill McKibben in response to his Jan. 6 Op-Ed article, "Climate change won't wait": "McKibben is very adamant that 'if we're to slow the pace of climate change, we need to cut emissions globally at a sensational rate, by something like 5% a year.' Considering what a huge amount that is, it would be helpful for...
January 2, 2013
Re "Small-scale solar's big potential untapped," Dec. 29 The story touting the potential benefits of rooftop and other smaller solar power arrays was well written and informative. Now it's time to look under the rocks. The Times reports that the tiny Mojave Desert town of Nipton, Calif., is off the grid. So exactly where does the electrical power come from when it's cloudy and when the sun goes down? Generators? Batteries? What's the (environmental) good, bad and evil of those systems?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 31, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO - When Gov. Jerry Brown spoke to a crowd of beaming environmentalists and renewable energy advocates at the launch of a solar farm last year, he turned heads by praising another form of fuel: oil. It was a surprising pivot from the man credited with helping to usher in the modern environmental movement as California's governor nearly four decades ago. Back then, Brown enacted the nation's first energy-efficiency standards, signed strict...
December 28, 2012
Sen. John Kerry, President Obama's nominee for secretary of State, may not be able to bring peace to the Middle East, end enduring trade and currency disputes with China or mend fences with all the anti-American leaders in Latin America. But he may be capable of redirecting the debate over an issue of equal or greater importance: climate change. Kerry is among the most forward-thinking members of the U.S. Senate when it comes to understanding both the threats of and the practical responses to global warming.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 9, 2012 |
The Delta Energy Center, a power plant about an hour outside San Francisco, was roaring at nearly full bore one day last month, its four gas and steam turbines churning out 880 megawatts of electricity to the California grid. On the horizon, across an industrial shipping channel on the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, scores of wind turbines stood dead still. The air was too calm to turn their blades - or many others across the state that day. Wind provided just 33 megawatts of power statewide in the midafternoon, less than 1% of the potential from wind farms capable of producing 4,000 megawatts of electricity.
December 7, 2012 |
A report by the Little Hoover Commission released Monday suggested that state lawmakers could face consumer blowback if they don't get their renewable energy house in order. The bipartisan panel that advises state lawmakers warned that if California doesn't streamline its varied energy policies -- from reforming the cooling process for coastal power plants to mandating a third of the state's energy come from renewable sources by 2020 -- rates could spike and customers would revolt.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 3, 2012 |
California's push to add wind and solar energy to its existing power grid could saddle ratepayers with soaring electrical bills and despoil the state's environmental resources unless officials act soon, according to a report released Monday by a government watchdog agency. Although it applauded the state's effort to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, the nonpartisan Little Hoover Commission said that a "balkanized" and "dysfunctional" collection of state energy agencies threatened to create a "profoundly expensive policy failure.
November 27, 2012 |
SolarCity Corp., a Bay Area solar energy company, is looking to raise as much as $151 million in its initial public offering, widely considered to be the most anticipated renewable-power IPO coming down the pike. The San Mateo business - which helps residential, commercial and government customers including Wal-Mart, eBay and the U.S. military set up solar power-generating systems - said it expects its shares to price between $13 and $15 each. The company is selling 10 million shares, and current shareholders are offering 65,012 shares, SolarCity said in an amended filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
November 26, 2012 |
On the few social occasions that I had a chin-wag with Larry Hagman, he talked not at all about his acting career, not much about the renown of his birthright -- a reference or two to his mother, Mary Martin -- and a great deal about renewable energy and living “off the grid.” Yep, the man whose TV career was founded on oil -- first thanks to that fetching genie living in an ancient oil lamp and then as a Texas petroleum tycoon -- was a...
November 12, 2012 |
This post has been corrected. See below for details. The U.S. will become the world's top producer of oil within five years, a net exporter of the fuel around 2030 and nearly self-sufficient in energy by 2035, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency. It's a bold set of predictions for a nation that currently imports some 20% of its energy needs. Recently, however, an “energy renaissance” in the U.S. has caused a boost in oil, shale gas and bio-energy production due to new technologies such as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.