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California SB100 - 100% Renewable Electricity

According to the Sacramento Bee (link below), the subject bill has been passed by the CA Assembly and Senate and should be on Governor Brown's desk by the end of the week. The bill committs Califronia to generate 100% of its electricity from renewables by 2045.

John Benson's picture

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Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on August 29, 2018

No, John. California SB-100 does not establish goals for “100% Renewable Electricity by 2045”. It’s a good thing too - few energy professionals believe such a goal would be practical, or even possible. SB-100’s goal is 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045, and the difference is significant.

To understand why, simply follow the money. The bill’s backers - solar, wind, and gas developers - sought to exclude both large hydroelectric and nuclear generation, because both represented a threat to profits. Last-minute amendments added both back for 2045 goals, but deliberately excluded them through 2030 - after Diablo Canyon (nuclear) Power Plant, the state’s largest source of carbon-free electricity, will be shut down.

In the end, SB-100 had less to do with fighting climate change than feeding special interests at the government trough. But with Californians for Green Nuclear Power and other groups planning legal challenges, the story is far from over.

John Benson's picture
John Benson on August 29, 2018

You are right, of course, and I stand corrected.

On the other hand, California's last Nuclear Power Plant (Diablo Canyon) is scheduled to close in 2025, so it will not be part of the mix. Some cogeneration gas plants may be (with carbon capture and sequestration), but my guess is that photovoltaics plus battery energy storage systems will be so inexpensive by 2045 that it will not be worth keeping them operating. California is already closing down (gas) combustion turbine peakers rapidly. Also wind's price is rapidly dropping rapidly.

See my earlier paper liked below. Also I write quite a bit on renewables, the path to net-zero greenhouse gasses, storage and related subjects, so you look at some of my other papers.


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