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PG&E may set back renewables in California for years to come

The bankruptcy of the Californian utility Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) could set back renewables years, if its requests to a local court are granted. It wants to renegotiate previously secure power purchasing deals, based on today’s pricing, rather than contracts struck 20 years ago. This creates a cost difference for PG&E of something like $30 per MWh, compared with almost $200 that its oldest deals were placed for. This single step would make entire portfolios of renewables unprofitable and may lead to a series of domino-like bankruptcies across the US. This would be hugely unfair given that it is not the renewable contracts which put PG&E in trouble, but its shoddy electrical connections which have been blamed for the…

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