The push to give Californians more options for buying energy has pitted two of the Democratic Party’s largest coalitions against each other.
At least, that’s been the story in Sacramento as it plays out at the state level. But even though so-called community choice aggregation is a looming possibility in San Diego, the city has largely sidestepped this fight – for now.
San Diego is working to pass its long-term Climate Action Plan, a bundle of policies meant to decrease its carbon footprint by 49 percent by 2035.
The plan’s most significant element would bring what’s called community choice aggregation to San Diego; that is, it would let the city, instead of San Diego Gas & Electric, buy energy for its 1.3 million residents on the private market — with a larger share of renewable sources.
The state Legislature is considering a bill that would add regulations for cities or counties that set up the agencies, unhelpfully called community choice aggregators. In the two such groups already operating, in Sonoma and Marin counties, the agency buys the energy and the private utility companies have continued delivering it.
The initial draft of the bill, supported by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, would have forced residents to voluntarily opt into the new agency instead of out of it, a change CCA supporters say would effectively kill the movement by dramatically decreasing the agencies’ ability to negotiate low prices. That’s since been removed from the legislation, but it successfully established AB 2145 as the enemy of community choice supporters. Now, the bill mostly forces CCAs to disclose more information about their price projections.
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Many years ago I lived in Cleveland, OH. They decided they could save money by buying their own power. They found a lower rate and signed a long term contract. It worked for a couple of years, then the market changed and they were losing money. They tried to renegotiate the contract, and the supplier said "A deal is a deal." The citizens were on the hook for millions.
As Mark Giffin has pointed out, buying and selling power is complex and no place for dilettantes.
Amateurs buying power and signing contracts. And when the screw that up they can participate in the spot markets.
Hmmm. seems we tried that in this state.
worked out great.
Considering government performance when OPRTATING functions for the public, why should it do more than sert the STNDARDS for industry to compete for power sources? Won’t the marketplace establish more favorable prices than negotiations by a government agency?
@Walt Brewer, if you don't actually know the answer to your own question, don't already have your mind made up about the issue.
Question: Does "renewable" include nuclear? I doubt it. In that case, this whole exercise is going to be a pipe dream unless two things happen: First, a huge breakthrough in battery technology which would allow storage overnight when the wind seldom blows and the sun don't shine, and second, either a quantum leap in the efficiency of solar panels or a way to install windmills on homes. And, remember, energy CONSUMPTION keeps rising over time.
Well intentioned "goals" often end up costing a lot of dough as the deadline nears and people panic to make their numbers. Hope that doesn't happen here. Last I heard, the baseline was several years ago so we're part way there already, but 2035 is only 21 years from now. A reduction to 49% may be achievable, 100%, no chance.
Do you think the California High speed Rail Project will be in operation by then?
@Bill Bradshaw "First, a huge breakthrough in battery technology which would allow storage overnight when the wind seldom blows and the sun don't shine..."
With regards to wind, that simply isn't true. For the areas with wind farms in this county, overnight is the peak wind generating time.
@Bill Bradshaw Technically Nuke power is not renewable, but I can see your point. New reactors are actually very safe compared to the 40 year old ones utilities are running, and for about the same cost as Natural Gas plane we can reduce CO2 significantly with power that can actually be used.
The solar power basically gets thrown away, because it is too unreliably generated, so SDGE has to continue to produce baseline power just in case. Solar is actually worse than in this regard. You need to build a natural gas plant that can generate 92% of solar power, and 80% of wind power as backup.