California raises renewable energy target to 73% by 2032 – pv magazine USA

The California Public Utilities Commission has raised renewable energy supply targets, plans a more aggressive decarbonization plan and includes increased reliability provisions.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved plans to expand renewable energy, reduce carbon emissions and boost electrical reliability across the state. The latest Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) adopts a target of 25.5 GW of supply-side renewable energy and 15 GW of energy storage and demand response capacity by 2032. Renewable energy capacity targets would effectively bring the state portfolio to 73%.

The plans also significantly reduce the level of greenhouse gas emissions allowed by the state, by adopting a limit of 35 million metric tons (MMT) for the electric sector by 2032. This figure is down from compared to the previous target of 46 MMT and represents 86% zero emissions. resources by the target year.

Mark Specht, senior energy analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said he supported the more aggressive targets, but said there was still work to be done. “I believe a future goal of 30 million metric tons in the next IRP cycle will be necessary to put California on a path to reducing emissions from the electricity sector that responds appropriately to our climate emergency,” did he declare.

Specht added that he was pleased that the new IRP did not include upgrades to natural gas power plants as eligible resources under the plan. He said the increased renewable energy capacity will help reliably replace generation from the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, which will soon be decommissioned.

The climate advocacy group, the Union of Concerned Scientists, actively supports the development of programmatic sourcing requirements in IRPs. Although IRPs set procurement targets, they are not entrenched requirements. In support of the development of procurement requirements, Sen. Dave Min (D-Irvine) introduced SB 881, which would clarify and formalize the CPUC’s authority to establish and enforce performance targets. emissions for the electricity sector. The Union of Concerned Scientists has sponsored the bill, which takes IRPs beyond planning and ensures that tasking entities meet climate commitments.

The CPUC analysis concluded that this level of renewable energy capacity additions would not require significant transmission upgrades, noting in a statement that there is “sufficient space” on the grid and that only “limited” upgrades will be needed by 2032. The CPUC stated this finding. will be validated by a study by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) as part of the 2022-23 transportation planning process.

Plans also include two large-scale battery energy storage projects that have been identified by CAISO as alternatives to transmission upgrades. CPUC said the storage alternatives provide the same level of system reliability at a lower cost to ratepayers.

“Today’s decision provides direction for the supply of an unprecedented amount of new, clean energy resources. This keeps us on track to meet our state’s ambitious clean energy goals, while ensuring system reliability,” said Commissioner Clifford Rechtschaffen.

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