California

Driving Sustainable Energy Storage Technology

Maximizing the Environmental Utility of Battery Storage: Building a Life Cycle Assessment Framework

Battery energy storage is recognized as a key element of making our energy infrastructure more sustainable and resilient. Battery storage, however, encompasses many technologies–how should sustainability-minded agencies, utilities and storage developers choose among these options? UCLA’s Emmett Institute and the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability is hosting an interactive workshop on that question …

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Guest Contributor Samantha Zurcher: The Current State of Wildfire Liability in California

Wildfire Grows Rapidly In California s Lake County. Bjorgialt; Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Wildfires Are Ravaging California. Can Electric Utilities Take the Heat?

In recent years, California has experienced its largest and deadliest wildfires in history, resulting in hundreds of fatalities and more than $50 billion in damage. The confluence of rising temperatures, less rainfall, and strong winds signal that the annual “wildfire season” is here to stay, and will continue to proliferate. Every year, thousands of Californians …

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Newsom’s Gas Car Phaseout is a Big Step Forward for California

A long road ahead, but undoubtedly moving in the right direction

On Wednesday, Governor Newsom issued an executive order that, among other things, directed the California Air Resources Board to develop regulations moving the state to 100 percent zero-emission passenger vehicles by 2035. The order is a long way from taking effect–at a minimum, ARB’s rulemaking process will take many months, any regulations would involve a …

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China’s New 2060 Carbon Neutrality Target

New climate pledges from China and the EU make the U.S. the only jurisdiction among the top three emitters without a carbon neutrality target

The biggest climate policy announcement of the week was not California Gov. Newsom’s Executive Order to ban the in-state sale of gas-powered passenger cars and trucks by 2035, although this move is a major advance for climate policy. Rather, the most important climate news was China’s announcement of an “aim” of achieving carbon neutrality by …

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“Knocking on Our Door”: Wildfires Threaten Mt. Wilson Observatory and San Gabriel Foothill Communities

Mt. Wilson Observatory tweet

On Sept. 15, Angeles National Forest reported the Bobcat Fire was within 500 ft. of historic observatory in San Gabriel Mountains

The Bobcat fire blazing in the San Gabriel Mountains is threatening lives and homes, forcing evacuation of communities in foothills clogged with acres of brush dried out by the hottest August ever recorded in California. For flatland Angelenos like me, the fires are both omnipresent and distant, sensed only by the hazy skies and smell …

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How can California make water data work for decision makers?

by Alida Cantor and Michael Kiparsky

California produces immense amounts of water-related data.  Yet, California also struggles to adapt its water systems to pressures such as climate change and population growth. To meet these challenges in an informed way, decision makers need data that supports their needs. In 2018, spurred by the Open and Transparent Water Data Act of 2016 (AB …

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California’s Burning. What’s the Link to Climate Change?

Dark orange skies above San Francisco, at 10am on Sept. 9 2020

Answering your denialist friends

It’s a hard day to work in California, what with all the burning.  Those closest to the fires and smoke are evacuating (or being rescued), or are among the brave men and women fighting in inferno-like conditions to increase fire containment.  But even those of us far away and physically safe from the fires are …

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Housing Solutions Fizzle In California’s Legislature

A rundown on the failures (and few successes) this session

Housing policy is at the center of all of our major societal problems in the United States: Care about racial justice? Restrictive housing and land use policies are responsible for our deeply segregated towns and cities. Climate change? Bad housing policies are the reason why so many people are forced into long, emission-spewing commutes, because …

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Red Paint Will Curb Public Access to Palos Verdes Nature Preserve, One of Los Angeles County’s Most Significant Open Spaces

Parking restrictions in Rancho Palos Verdes

Rancho Palos Verdes City Council votes to eliminate public street parking near Portuguese Bend Reserve

  See a full set of photos illustrating parking restrictions at Portuguese Bend Reserve on the Emmett Institute Flickr page.  Update: Responding to public concern about its new parking restrictions, the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council voted unanimously at its meeting on Sept. 1 to move away from a full parking prohibition. The council voted …

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Guest Contributor Naomi Wheeler: States and Cities Should Prioritize Equity While Building Grid Resilience

Power grid masts

Learning from Grid Resilience Threats and Opportunities in California and New York

Electrical grids across the country face a complex series of overlapping threats to grid resilience in 2020. Wildfires and hurricanes have become the new normal as climate change intensifies the magnitude of extreme weather events. These destructive events create widespread systemic shocks for electrical grids already facing several underlying vulnerabilities. In a recent research report, …

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