London Mayor Ken Livingstone wants to further reduce the City’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by making motorists take financial responsibility for their own emissions. The first approach set to begin in February 2008 is the establishment of a Low Emissions Zone. The second approach still under debate would modify the current congestion fee by establishing an Emissions Influenced Charging Structure.
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About John Farrell
John Farrell directs the Energy Self-Reliant States and Communities program at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and he focuses on energy policy developments that best expand the benefits of local ownership and dispersed generation of renewable energy. More
On May 7th, Washington’s Governor signed a new law that effectively reverses a January 2007 Washington Supreme Court decision. The State Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Seattle municipal utility could not purchase carbon offsets with ratepayer money. This case originated from ratepayers that were protesting Seattle City Light’s purchases of carbon offsets to counter the utility’s greenhouse gas emissions.
In mid-May, Los Angeles’ Mayor announced a new climate change action plan that calls for the LA municipal utility to increase its renewable energy portfolio to reach 35 percent by 2020. This in combination with about 50 other proposed actions will work to reduce GHG emissions in the city of angels to 35 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
Responding to concerns and evidence put forward by solar power companies and advocates, Governor Schwarznegger has pledged to fix a flaw in California’s Solar Initiative that has caused a reported 78 percent drop off in proposed photovoltaic installations in the state.
In early April 2007, Waverly Light and Power’s Board of Trustees approved a new residential rate structure designed to encourage energy conservation by charging customers higher rates as more electricity is used. This "inverted" rate is going into effect only during four summer months beginning July 1, 2007.
WLP, a municipally-owned utility with about 4,500 customers, experiences the highest demand for electricity during summer and is hoping that this program leads to decreased demand for power. The rate structure after July will look like this:
In January 2007, the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) adopted an interim Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Performance Standard (EPS) in an effort to help mitigate climate change.
This March 2007 report, Full Report: Report: Distributed Generation and Cogeneration Policy Roadmap for California, from the California Energy Commission provides a nice state-based, how-to perspective on policy options to increase the use of small scale DG along with larger combined heat and power projects. Continue reading
On April 2nd, the Internal Revenue Service issued a notice soliciting applicants for the next round of Clean Renewable Energy Bonds allocations. The CREBs program provides governmental entities, municipal and cooperatively owned utilities an incentive to develop renewable energy projects. Ultimately, an interest free financing tool, CREBs are a substitute for renewable energy production tax incentives that these entities are not able to use because of their tax exempt status. Applications must be filed by July 13, 2007.
Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., recently introduced the Clean Renewable Energy for Public Power Act (H.R. 1821), which would extend and reform the Clean Renewable Energy Bond program authorizing government entities, rural cooperatives and municipally-owned electric systems to issue tax-credit bonds for renewable energy projects, as a counterpart to the production tax credit available to investor-owned utilities and other renewable energy project developers.
A recent speech by ILSR Vice President, David Morris, focuses on ways to ensure that our nation’s move to have 25 percent of our energy consumption come from renewable energy by 2025 will maximize the benefits to the communities in which these fuels are produced and harvested.