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Environment & Energy Report

California’s Pivot to Green Energy May Hinge on Old Utility PG&E

Nov. 16, 2018, 4:59 PM

California’s ambitious drive to combat climate change may hinge on the fate of its biggest utility owner.

The embattled PG&E Corp. would face higher borrowing costs if its credit rating falls to junk following California’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire. That could affect the state’s green-energy strategy, potentially making solar farms more expensive and threatening investment needed to support wider use of electric vehicles, said Michael Wara, a senior research scholar at Stanford University.

Climate change has made wildfires the new abnormal in the region, but now the fires themselves may make it harder to fight climate change. California has...

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