Impacts of COVID-19 Virus on Electricity Demand

LCG, March 27, 2020 -- Jeremy Platt, an energy scientist, Palo Alto has made some early analysis of impact of COVID -19 on electricity demand using the grid operators data published by LCG. Data from several areas of the country offer early and near real-time views of impacts of the economic slowdown due to evolving regional and statewide coronavirus mitigation strategies.

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California PUC Targets Doubling Renewable Energy by 2030

LCG, March 27, 2020--The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) yesterday unanimously approved a new emissions target for its electric sector that would double California's clean energy capacity through 2030 and effectively block new natural gas-fired electric generating facilities.

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Industry News

UK Threatens Tighter Control over Generators

LCG, July 18, 2001Britain's new Minister of Energy, Brian Wilson, says he will "listen carefully" to requests by Callum McCarthy, head of the government's Office of Gas and Electricity Markets, to reintroduce a "good behavior" clause in the operating licenses for power plant owners.

Wilson spent part of last week in California, the world's fifth-ranked economy, just behind that of the United Kingdom, learning first-hand about out-of-control power prices, power shortages, rolling blackouts, and possibly political rhetoric.

McCarthy has said he is concerned that the so-called "new electricity trading arrangements" introduced in March will not prevent power plant owners from market abuse. His good behavior clause was thrown out by the competition earlier this year after objections by the companies owning generating stations.

Wilson pointed out that six years ago California had a surplus of electricity capacity similar to that currently enjoyed by England and Wales, but it vanished seemingly overnight. He does not see that happening in the UK, but does see a need for a balanced portfolio as natural gas-fueled generation makes inroads into an industry dominated by coal.

Gas fired generation, which has risen from virtually nothing 10 years ago to supply more than 30 per cent of the country's power needs, is still growing rapidly. Alarm bells have been triggered by a doubling of wholesale gas prices since 1999, the Financial Times observed this morning.

The expectation that most nuclear power stations will close in the next 20 years worries the minister. He stresses no decision has been taken on replacing nuclear capacity but says: "It would be lemming-like to allow nuclear to fade away without pointing out that we rely on it for 25 per cent of our power."

Possibly the only member of Britain's ruling Labour Party who favors nuclear power plants, Wilson is yet to be convinced that renewable energy generation could completely replace atomic plants, but acknowledges that Britain needs to do much more to boost green power, the Financial Times said.

"If we are going to make a serious stab at renewables there has to be some give and take from environmentalists," he said.

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