California’s electric grid is not ready to meet climate goals

Guest Commentary | CALMATTERS Link to article

As the UN conference on climate change has made clear, we must all accelerate our efforts to address this existential threat.

Fortunately, California is on a strong foundation to do its share. The state has excellent solar and wind resource potential. We have targets in place to reach a zero-carbon future by 2045 as codified in SB 100. And Gov. Gavin Newsom has issued proclamations and executive orders to urge our energy agencies to accelerate our path to zero-carbon.

However, in March 2021 California’s energy agencies responsible for implementation of SB 100 issued a sobering report that stated: “California will need to sustain its expansion of clean electricity generation capacity at a record-breaking rate for the next 25 years. On average, the state will need to build 6 (gigawatts) of new solar, wind and battery storage resources annually.”

As Danielle Osborn Mills observed in CalMatters commentary: “While the utility-scale clean-energy industry currently provides roughly one-third of California’s power supply, shifting to 100% clean power will require the state to triple its current rate of solar and wind development over the next decade – and accelerate energy storage deployment by a factor of eight.”

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