For immediate release July 4, 2011
Contact: Barbara George, Exec. Dir. Women’s Energy Matters (c) 415-755-3147
WEM asks state to map solar PV for energy independence
PG&E pretends it “can’t know” where solar panels are located
WEM’s Travel Advisory 4th of July 2011: Notice the Wires that Follow Every Road
San Rafael, CA July 4th 2011: Women’s Energy Matters (WEM) announced that it is requesting CA energy agencies to require utilities to begin mapping solar and efficiency resources, because these are key to energy independence but are currently ignored in utility “demand forecasts.” This is a serious barrier to cleaning up our energy system. For example, the Governor’s plan for 12,000 MW of renewable ‘distributed generation’ would simply disappear.
Barbara George, Exec. Dir. of WEM, noted: “Utilities’ failure to track local solar and energy efficiency helps drive excess use of dirty energy. The state currently has 50% more energy than it uses; this power glut continues through 2020. We could close nuclear power plants and still have 40% excess energy.”
WEM is celebrating Marin’s first year of energy independence by helping at the Marin Energy Authority booth at the County Fair. Marin leads CA cities and counties in taking responsibility for developing clean energy and reducing greenhouse gases without nuclear power. WEM is a leading community advocate for MEA and a watchdog in state energy agency cases.
Marin launched its Community Choice energy program May 7th, 2010, and achieved over 27% renewable energy in its first year. MEA literally “broke the state’s spreadsheet” for renewables, which only went up to 20%, the state’s 2010 target. (PG&E had only 17% renewables for 2010.)
PG&E claims it “can’t know” where solar and energy efficiency is located:
18 PG&E load forecasting methodology does not specifically adjust for
19 changes in peak load because of increased customer photovoltaic
20 installations, customer Energy Efficiency (EE) Programs, or increased load
21 due to EV increased penetration. The affect these system-wide programs
22 have on peak loads are not easily quantifiable on a DPA level, division or
23 geographic area. Therefore, PG&E cannot exactly know where reductions
24 or increases will occur. PG&E Testimony, Vol. 3, pp. 9-12 (2010 General Rate Case, A0912020)
George remarked, “This is nonsense! PG&E knows exactly where solar is located, because they hook solar panels into the grid! They also know where efficiency is installed. But they don’t bother keeping records of it. Utilities only track resources attached to the big ‘transmission’ wires; ignoring what’s on local ‘distribution’ wires in the neighborhoods.”
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WEM’s Travel Advisory: Notice the Wires that Follow Every Road
“Transmission” lines are the big diameter wires and tall towers; smaller “Distribution” wires are on the poles in the neighborhood. Distribution is defined as lines that carry less than 60 kilovolts (kV). The biggest transmission lines are the 500 kV lines that march up and down the central valley on huge huge A-frame towers.
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Marin Energy Authority, Marin County and the Town of Fairfax passed resolutions this spring calling for the shutdown of California’s nuclear power plants.
Women’s Energy Matters is a Marin non-profit that works for a rapid transition to a renewable, efficient energy system without nuclear power. WEM filed a proposal in the Long-Term Procurement Plans case at the CPUC this spring to close nuclear power plants and replace that power with more energy efficiency, solar and other “distributed generation.” See www.womensenergymatters.org/nuclear/2011-05-23AlternativeBundledProcurementPlan.html
WEM is known for challenging and reversing dysfunctional energy policies and increasing public participation in California’s regulatory proceedings. Pulitzer prize-winning tax columnist David Cay Johnston described how WEM’s brief public comment led CPUC to reverse a proposed decision and cancel a “fake tax:” www.tax.com/taxcom/taxblog.nsf/Permalink/UBEN-8J9KYV?OpenDocument
See WEM’s video highlights of the campaign for Marin Clean Energy, including
Energy Democracy Comes to Marin!
PG&E resisted Marin Clean Energy and used solar and energy efficiency money to try to convince Marin cities to reject the plan. WEM videotaped the bribery efforts for this documentary: PG&E tries to buy Novato with your money! www.womensenergymatters.org/video/Marin/pgvideo_novatoDemocracy.htm