California’s transmission permitting: Slowest in the West?

In a recent blog post, Clean Air Task Force’s Nelson Falkenburg and CSG’s Sam Uden explore one of the main drivers behind California’s decade-long lead times to transmission development, which is a key permitting application at the California Public Utilities Commission known as the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. Nelson and Sam compare these […]

The challenges of carbon capture and storage in California: Regulatory issues

One of the biggest challenges faced by California in decarbonizing its economy is the need to capture carbon dioxide and store it effectively and safely. While a variety of technologies may ultimately be available to capture and store carbon, the current main option is to store it deep underground. The 2022 Scoping Plan identified the […]

Study finds public financing of transmission could save ratepayers billions

A rapid and significant expansion in transmission infrastructure this decade is key for California to meet its ambitious climate goals. However, this build-out will be expensive – with the potential to overburden ratepayers and undermine the state’s clean energy transition. Strategies to minimize the cost of transmission are therefore an important consideration for policymakers. In an […]

Governor’s proposed Clean Energy Central Procurement mechanism could be the most consequential climate policy this decade

The pace of clean energy deployment in California is currently too slow to achieve the state’s ambitious climate targets. The Governor’s proposed Clean Energy Central Procurement mechanism in the 2023-24 energy trailer bill is a powerful policy concept that has the potential to correct this trajectory. In this blog post, we highlight how strategic public […]

State and federal agencies release first-of-its-kind biomass utilization strategy

Biomass management has been a neglected climate problem in California. That is, until recently – when the 2022 Scoping Plan identified both the significant scale of the biomass challenge and importance of mobilizing organic waste to provide clean fuels and carbon dioxide removal in a net-zero economy. In response, the Governor’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience […]

California needs to expand its clean energy. And it starts by expanding its grid

California’s 2022 Scoping Plan identified the unprecedented amount of new clean energy needed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, including developing a 20 GW offshore wind industry from scratch and more than tripling the state’s utility-scale solar capacity. How can the state deliver on these major ambitions?  In this blog post we highlight the essential […]

How California can lead the world in decarbonizing aviation

As the United States seeks to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, one of the most challenging sectors to decarbonize will be aviation. Aviation makes up nearly 7% of the total U.S. transportation sector emissions (Figure 1). As planes are expected to remain reliant on liquid fuels for the foreseeable future, commercializing non-fossil, low-carbon […]

Op-ed: How forest thinning waste could fund California wildfire prevention

Yesterday, CSG’s Director of Climate and Energy Policy, Sam Uden, had an op-ed published in CalMatters that describes how a forest products strategy could help reduce megafires in California.  In partnership with Sierra Business Council, a lead organization that represents more than 3,000 businesses, local governments and NGOs in the Sierra Nevada, the op-ed is timed with key […]

CARB’s opportunity on low-carbon fuels

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) will soon initiate a series of regulatory proceedings on different programs to cement the ambitions of the 2022 Scoping Plan into state policy. One of the first – and perhaps the most consequential – will be the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). The LCFS is one of the state’s […]

Accelerating advance mitigation in California

California is set to spend hundreds of billions – if not trillions – of dollars over the coming decades on projects to adapt to a changing climate, deploy clean energy and upgrade aging infrastructure. It is crucial that these investments minimize their impact on natural resources and maximize high-quality conservation outcomes. Innovative conservation planning tools, […]