LOCAL ENVIRONMENTALISTS GET A LESSON ON ENERGY AND THE GRID

LOCAL ENVIRONMENTALISTS GET A LESSON ON ENERGY AND THE GRID

The featured speaker at the annual meeting of the Morongo Basin Conservation Association was Angelina Galiteva. Her topic was “Responsible Energy Development and the Electrical Grid.” Dan Stork was there for the Saturday meeting, and hits the highlights of her talk…
Although California has a legislated goal of 33 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2020, renewable energy advocate Angelita Galiteva believes that an eventual target of 100 percent is doable and necessary. She told an audience of over 60 at the YuccaValleyCommunity Center that the requirements for progress towards this goal is TLC: Transparency, Longevity, and Certainty and Consistency, all of which she finds lacking in most U.S. approaches to the issue. Galiteva said that people should have a secure sense of what they’re getting, and developers should have a reasonable rate of return.

Galiteva cited Germany as an example of a place where the rate system is clear and simple, there is a commitment to distributed solar development, there is a high percentage of individual ownership of generation facilities, and a significant percentage of electrical energy comes from rooftop solar, without a sunny climate. Galiteva urged looking at lifecycle costs of energy projects, not just startup costs, and making a distinction between long-term government subsidies (bad) and shorter-term incentives (good).

California faces a crisis and opportunity, as many conventional generation plants will be retired in coming years. Galiteva said that California is also hobbled by a patchwork of energy agencies, and points to air and water management as providing better models.  Galiteva identified storage of electricity as a significant problem that needs to have a solution in order to smooth out the variations in power demand that occurs in the course of a single day. She cited hydro pumping as one technology that can help in this area, providing that it is sited acceptably.

Galiteva has made a career of working on renewable energy issues.  She hopes to be re-appointed by Governor Brown to the Board of Governors of the California Independent System Operators, a nonprofit organization which is grid operator for the bulk of the state’s power grid.

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