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California legislature passes SB 100: 100% renewable and zero-carbon energy by 2045

The California Assembly has passed —a bill to move California to 100% renewable and zero-carbon energy by 2045.

This bill—known as The 100 Percent Clean Energy Act of 2018—increases the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) requirement from 50% by 2030 to 60% and creates the policy of planning to meet all of the state’s retail electricity supply with a mix of RPS-eligible and zero-carbon resources by 31 December 2045, for a total of 100% clean energy.

Specifically, the bill accelerates the RPS obligations for retail sellers—investor-owned utilities, community choice aggregators, energy service providers—and publicly-owned utilities (POUs) as follows:

  1. 40% to 44% by 2024;

  2. 45% to 52% by 2027; and

  3. 50% to 60% by 2030.

The bill also establishes state policy that RPS-eligible and zero-carbon resources supply 100% of all retail sales of electricity to California end-use customers no later than 31 December 2045.

The bill stipulates that achieving this policy shall not increase carbon emissions elsewhere in the western grid and shall not allow resource shuffling subject to the restrictions of the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.

The bill requires the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the California Energy Commission (CEC), the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and other state agencies to incorporate this policy into all relevant planning.

The bill also requires the CPUC, CEC, and CARB to utilize existing programs to achieve this policy; and to prepare, in consultation with all California balancing authorities, a joint report to the Legislature by 1 January 2021, and every four years thereafter, that includes of review of the 100% clean energy policy including forecasts, costs, resources, barriers and impacts on reliability related to achieving the goal and alternative scenarios to achieve the goal.

Comments

Jeffgreen54

The hardest part of 100% renewable energy is the last 20%. I see the cost of batteries coming down to help that part out. Hoping for the best where it is the hardest.

Lad

The important part of this is that it's now policy with a date certain and that takes away much uncertainty. Now businesses and buyers can use this information in their planning.

Engineer-Poet

They're doing this, at the same time as they're forcing their last significant zero-emission base load generators (Diablo Canyon) off the grid.

This is madness.

HarveyD

Accident prone areas like most of California, Japan East coast, Hawaii, Italy, Turkey and other similar places should follow Diablo Canyon exemple and switch to other (more economical) zero emission energy production means.

Engineer-Poet

Oh for pete's sake, Harvey.  If a Tohoku-equivalent tsunami hit Diablo Canyon, it would barely come 1/3 of the way up the bluff.  The plant's biggest problem would be wave-swept debris getting into the coolant intakes, so it would probably have to run power way down for a while until most of it settled out.

California can't "switch" from DC to "renewables".  DC provides what the ruinables do not and CANnot:  emissions-free base load power.  DC does it at a price that the ruinables can't come close to matching, and won't be able to even if battery prices fall by half.

DC is also far better for emissions.  DC is already built, and there are next to no emissions involved with running it.  Continuing to run it means putting off any emissions associated with decommissioning.  Building wind and PV means fossil emissions associated with the refining, production and installation.  No matter HOW cheap wind and PV get, continuing to run DC is the right thing both for the state and the planet.

mahonj

Going for 100% renewables is just plain crazy.
As many have said, the last 20% is the hardest part.
Batteries won't cut it in terms of storage.
You can bridge across nighttime OK most of the time, but trying to bridge across a several day still, cloudy period won't be economical.

It is a GLOBAL problem: solving it 100% in one place and 20% in another is no good.
Much better and cheaper to solve it 80% everywhere and use gas/nukes to balance the rest.

avada

"for a total of 100% clean energy. "

BS. It does not include heating and not even cars, since they didn't decide to ban them off the roads.

"Turkey and other similar places should follow Diablo Canyon exemple and switch to other (more economical) zero emission energy production means. "

There's no more economical zero emission electricity production. Nuclear is the best.

Thomas Lankester

To cover days - weeks of reduced production batteries don't work as you have to linearly increase your capital costs. Anaerobic digestion plat producing (cleaned) biomethane and/or power to gas plant have a one-off capital cost but can be run over time generating more gas for the existing natural gas infrastructure. Unlike batteries these don't fill up.

Whilst less efficient for storage than batteries, there is a cross over point at which bio/renewable methane production from excess renewable electricity / AD is more economic than adding more and more battery capacity which gets underutilised.

HarveyD

Many EVs/PHEVs and FCEVs are/will not be used more than 2 to 4 hours/day.

With proper adapted controls many of those vehicles could be used to help the grid to fill the gaps due to low wind/sunshine.

FCEVs may be best suited to help the grid, specially those equipped with extended range H2 tanks. Of course it would not be free but something like $0,20/kWh to $0,30/kWh could be interesting for electrified vehicle owners.

SJC

100% clean electricity maybe, but 90% of the natural gas is imported.

Engineer-Poet

People who think that vehicles other than EVs are going to have much to do with balancing the grid have never looked at the costs and round-trip efficiencies.

EVs (and PHEVs to a lesser extent) are a special case.  Even without V2G, they can ramp their charging up and down to balance immediate (and local) supply and demand.  So long as the required amount of energy is delivered by the time the vehicle is needed again, charging can go at any rate from zero to maximum as needed for grid management.  This can also be done with stationary batteries, but those provide no other value.  Getting dual use out of a single battery is a major advantage of PEVs; nothing else can do the same.

HarveyD

The lower initial cost, higher efficiency and longer duration of near futur electrolizers- FCs and H2 will soon better compete with batteries used in EVs.

Secondly, it is much easier to store H2 than electrons.

Engineer-Poet

It's vastly easier and cheaper to store uranium than H2.

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