California is among the world’s leaders in deploying renewable energy, with the state on pace to meet its target of achieving 33% of its energy from renewable sources like the sun and the wind by 2020. But the success may ironically be contributing to a stalled in-state market for more renewable power. Given the amount of renewables in the pipeline, utilities now have little incentive to procure more.
To address the challenge and offer policy solutions for California’s electricity sector, UC Berkeley and UCLA Schools of Law are today releasing the report Renewable Energy Beyond 2020: Next Steps for California. The report resulted from a one-day gathering of renewable energy experts, including financial leaders, developers, utilities, and nonprofit advocates. It is the twelfth in the law schools’ Climate Change and Business Research Initiative, which develops policies that help businesses prosper in an era of climate change.
The report recommends that state policy makers consider adopting a 51% by 2030 renewable portfolio standard, provided that the new standard:
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector at a rate that tracks the state’s 2050 greenhouse gas reduction goal;
- Results from a comprehensive grid planning process that prioritizes renewable deployment in the most cost-effective locations; and
- Includes benchmarks that promote grid reliability and ratepayer benefits.
Among these recommendations, the report emphasizes the need to integrate the intermittent renewable energy without increasing greenhouse gas emissions, such as through energy storage, a western region-wide energy imbalance market, and demand response programs.
To hear more about the report and the topic, UCLA Law will be hosting a lunchtime panel presentation with:
- Ken Button, President, Verengo Solar
- Nicolas Chaset, Special Advisor for Distributed Energy Resources, Office of Governor Edmund G Brown, Jr.
- Jonathan Parfrey, Executive Director, Climate Resolve