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  • Tuesday, September 11, 2018

    The Solution For California’s 100% New Energy Goal

    Why 100 Percent Clean Energy in California is Gonna Be Tricky

    Lauren Sommer, September 10, 2018 (KQED)

    “…[For the fifth largest economy in the world, getting to 100% New Energy means] a wholesale transformation…If the past is any precedent, it's going to be difficult…[To now,] renewable energy has created new challenges for running the state’s electric grid. And grid operators have turned to California’s primary fossil fuel resource, large natural-gas power plants, to solve them…That’s created an uncomfortable marriage between renewable energy and fossil fuels. And it’s one that California policymakers will have to figure out how to dissolve, if the state wants to reach its clean energy targets…Today, solar and wind are [cost] competitive with natural gas power…[and] about a third of California’s electricity comes from renewables, including solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and small hydropower dams…But electricity from natural gas has also held steady. In 2017, it represented more than 40 percent of California’s in-state generation…

    [S]olar energy has fundamentally shifted the way the state’s electric grid is run…[R]unning solar and natural gas together during the day can create more electricity than is needed…[Most natural gas plants cannot turn on and off quickly or easily, so] grid operators have to tell solar farms to shut off. And it’s happening more and more often…[The extra solar energy could be stored and used as part of a large portfolio of New Energies] or it could be shared with neighboring states…[California does not have a regional grid to export the solar and energy storage capacity is just beginning to be] developed…But the rise in solar power has upended the economic model for many natural gas plants in California…[To keep the necessary natural gas generation in place until solutions are ready,] there needs to be a careful exit strategy for natural gas…[The good news] is that the state has met every one of its renewable energy goals.” click here for more

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