August 10, 2017 Read More →

California, Shooting for 100% Carbon-Free Electricity Generation, Is More Than Halfway There


An analysis by S&P Global Market Intelligence shows the state’s five largest utilities by retail sales are currently halfway to zero carbon future in terms of generation capacity, with conventional renewables, hydroelectric resources and nuclear included, but getting to 100% of retail sales will require significant new investments.

Setting out a path to a 100% carbon free generating fleet, the new legislation would not just take into account wind, solar and geothermal — the primary resources considered under the state’s existing renewable portfolio standard — but also incorporate large hydro resources, which are not considered under existing renewable energy laws, and nuclear.

Currently 56% of the five utilities’ owned or contracted generation capacity produces no carbon emissions, with hydroelectric and nuclear power — resources mostly excluded in the state’s renewable portfolio standard — providing a combined 19% share.

Solar plants have the largest share of zero-carbon resources among the five largest utilities with a 17% share of overall capacity mix, followed by wind with a 15% share, hydro with an 11% share, nuclear with an 8% share and geothermal with a 3% share. The largest generation share still belongs to gas-fired plants, which make up 44% of total capacity.

More: ($) Calif. utilities halfway to meeting proposed 100% carbon free requirement

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