Clean firm power is the key to California’s carbon-free energy future

This useful paper examines a scenario where clean energy coupled with reliable generation can meet California's aggressive carbon reductions while requiring less space and thereby reducing the harmful impacts of large-scale renewables. A portion of the introduction is provided below. The full report can be accessed from the document links on this page.

California’s plan to make all of its electricity carbon free by 2045 will double electricity demand. Three groups of analysts optimize its grid to be economically and environmentally sustainable.

California’s government has set ambitious goals to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions, starting with electricity. A 2018 law mandated that, by 2045, all retail sales of electricity in the state must derive from carbon-free sources. Jerry Brown, who was then the governor, issued an accompanying executive order requiring the entire state, not just the electric sector, to zero-out net emissions also by 2045. Policymakers have to grapple with achieving these goals. Reducing emissions in the economy as a whole will increase demand for electricity, which will be used to power cars and heat buildings in place of fossil fuels. Energy planners estimate that such electrification will increase California’s peak demand for electricity from 50 gigawatts today to 100 gigawatts midcentury.

Decarbonizing California E2 80 99s Grid Requires More Than Wind And Solar

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MAR 24 2021
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