California Targets 100% Zero-Emission Electricity by 2045

  • California is stepping up its capacity for energy storage.
  • This is in order to achieve a 100 percent clean and renewable energy goal by 2045
  • To do this, several bills are to be enacted which can help utilities and other energy institutions and producers with their energy storage.

People in the U.S. are probably used to seeing California right now as the leading state when it comes to clean and green electricity. The Golden State has been making leaps and strides over the past decade with its progress, particularly for solar power which is one of the best contributors to renewable energy sources.

That sentiment for California is not about to change anytime soon, however. In fact, it is about to improve once again since the state of California is planning to spearhead the drive for a 100 percent clean renewable electricity. This time around, California officials are planning to take advantage of energy storage in order to achieve this goal come 2045.

Back on September 11 in Pasadena, California, Governor Jerry Brown and the California State Legislature were lauded for their passing of the Senate Bill (SB) 100. The said policy sets the largest goal ever established in a U.S. state for zero-emission electricity targets. For this, various organizations and groups representing policy, technology and market leaders in energy storage have given their support to the goal.

That is because for the goal to become feasible and achievable, energy storage would have to play a key role. Hence, this upcoming November in Pasadena, Energy Storage North America (ESNA) sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, and attendees are to witness and support the demonstration for the energy storage industry.

The said demonstration aims to show that the energy storage industry is ready with its technology and deployment solutions to successfully support a zero-emission grid. That means we might soon see full neighborhoods and counties in California running on nothing but clean and renewable energy. Of course, much of this includes solar power.

California’s track record is also promising, being able to produce more than 1,500 MW of new energy storage capacity. Meanwhile, those in North America have also produced up to 2 GW of advanced energy storage projects to date. This includes utilities and energy users. All in all, that should provide ample starting points to proceed with the goal of 100 percent clean energy using energy storage.

“Energy Storage is critical to supporting the increasing penetration of renewables throughout North America and the globe, and our community is ready to deliver. ESNA brings together the key decision makers who are demonstrating the game-changing role energy storage can play to achieve grid transformation. Storage has proven its ability to integrate intermittent renewable energy and optimize existing assets for a cleaner, more affordable and reliable grid,” said Janice Lin, Co-founder, and Chair of ESNA.

As for California’s very own efforts to adhere to SB 100 goals, the state has done it with flying colors. Last month alone, Southern California Edison (SCE) submitted its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for highlighting the use of energy storage in order to achieve the state’s electricity sector greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals by 2030.

However, there is still a long way to go for SCE’s plan in particular, since they did state that an additional required energy storage of 9,604 MW would be needed in order to reduce its grid-based GHG emissions to 28 million metric come 2030. So it is up to California’s energy load-serving entities to provide such capacities.

More is being done in order to speed up the efforts and strengthen it all together. In addition to the SB 100, two more energy storage bills are awaiting Governor Brown’s approval. The first is the SB 700 that adds incentives collectively amounting to $800 million in incremental buy-down funding for behind-the-meter storage and extends the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP). That should be good through 2026 and SGIP has successfully contributed to 318 MW in storage.

The second bill called SB 1369 seeks to define green electrolytic hydrogen as an eligible form of energy storage. Essentially, the bill helps to address future long-duration and seasonal storage requirements especially when solar panels are not expected to run in full efficiency during a particular season. Both bills should help and complement SB 100’s goals for California’s electricity future.

Should the SB 100 goals be reached along with its inclusive energy storage capacity boosts, then North America is bound to be one of the leading energy storage markets in the world, along with the likes of Mexico and Canada. All that is needed is the effort of everyone involved, both legal, commercial, or civilian.

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