Two years ago, a solar coronal mass ejection of possibly the greatest recorded strength in history blasted by Earth's orbit. Had it impacted Earth's protective magnetic field, we could have experienced major disruptions in communication, brilliant aurora displays at tropical latitudes, damage to orbital satellites and possibly even major power blackouts.
The science of earthquake prediction is fraught with the human tendency to seek conclusions beyond the reach of the data. In this setting, even the fruitless hypothesis of sunspots is seductive.
After controversy over a threatened species delayed several large solar projects, state officials are trying to broker an agreement between conservation groups and solar companies on a path forward for renewable energy.
The Panoche Valley Solar Farm cleared a hurdle this week. Environmental groups sued to stop the solar project, located near Hollister, but the suit was rejected.
This week, PG&E unveiled California’s largest battery project, now storing electrons in San Jose. The project is a pilot for energy storage technology, as electric utilities look for ways to balance increasing amounts of solar and wind energy on the grid.
As increasing numbers of Californians generate their own electricity, they rely less on electric utilities. That’s raising major questions about the future of California’s utilities.