California state agencies released the Draft Forest Carbon Plan in January 2017. The Draft Plan contains a lot of important background information, but is not specific enough to provide a real plan to reduce emissions and restore carbon sequestration to California’s forests.
In February, the California Air Resources Board released staff proposals on how ARB would spend the proposed $363 million in Low Carbon Transportation funding (from Cap and Trade revenues) if the Legislature approves the funding later this year. The staff proposals include funding plans for Low Carbon Fuels and for Heavy Duty Vehicles. ARB is holding workshops in March to discuss the draft plans. Details about the workshops are available on ARB’s website. The staff drafts are below.
In January, the California Air Resources Board released the Climate Change Scoping Plan Update, which includes strategies and alternatives to meet the state’s 2030 emissions reduction goals.
Read the 2030 Scoping Plan Update (Jan 2017)
BAC submitted comments on the Air Resources Board’s Discussion Draft, released December 2016, on how to meet the state’s 2030 climate change targets. BAC’ strongly supports ARB’s recommendations for renewable gas, but urges ARB to include greater transparency in the Scoping Plan.
Fifteen California counties and the Rural County Representatives of California urge the CPUC to adopt policies to increase baseload and flexible generation power, including biomass and biogas, as part of California’s 50 percent renewable power requirement. The counties lay out the many benefits of biomass and biogas for ratepayers and the public, including renewable power to complement wind and solar, provide grid stability, reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants, protect water and hydropower supplies, protect utility infrastructure from wildfire, and provide economic development in rural communities.
See the Counties’ letter to CPUC
State agencies released an updated strategy to reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants in November 2016. The updated draft is focused on strategies to reduce methane emissions and human-caused black carbon emissions. Although SB 605 (Lara, 2014) requires a comprehensive strategy to address all major sources of SLCP’s, the current draft omitted any strategy to reduce black carbon from wildfire, which is the single largest source of SLCP’s. BAC’s Comments on the updated draft urge the state to restore sections on black carbon from wildfire, which had been included in earlier drafts, as required by SB 605. The Comments also urge the state to allocate a higher share of Cap & Trade revenues to SLCP reduction and to identify important research needs for SLCP reduction.
The California Air Resources Board has developed a draft plan for reducing climate pollution from the transportation sector. BAC’s comments on the draft plan focus on the need for greater transparency, specific goals for large trucks that cause a disproportionate share of emissions, focus on lifecycle emissions, and incentives for the most cost-effective emissions reductions.
In August, the CPUC sought comments on implementation of SB 840, which waives some interconnection requirements for forest BioMAT projects. BAC’s Comments and Reply Comments are below.
The California Energy Commission has announced $23 million in new funding opportunities for forest and food waste to energy projects. As part of the Commission’s Electricity Program Investment Charge (EPIC), the CEC has just announced the availability of:
- $10 million for forest waste to electricity projects (that take waste from High Hazard Zones)
- $8 million for food waste to energy projects; and
- $5 million for Applied R&D for woody biomass to energy projects.
The Deadline for Written Questions: July 29, 2016, 5:00 p.m.
Deadline to Submit Abstracts (Phase 1): August 29, 2016, by 3:00 p.m.
Deadline to Submit Applications (Phase 2): December 16, 2016, by 3:00 p.m.
To see the full funding announcement, click here.
The CPUC has taken an important step in reducing the cost uncertainties and variability facing bioenergy developers. In late June, the Commission adopted a “Cost Envelope Approach” to interconnection costs for distributed generation (electricity) projects that prevents utilities from increasing interconnection costs more than 25 percent between the initial estimate and final costs to interconnect. The Decision also requires greater transparency so that, over time, costs should begin to go down for distributed generation bioenergy projects. To learn more, click on the Final Decision, below.