Californian utilities can meet an aggressive 33% renewable target – so long as issues over grid capacity and regulation are clarified.
The Californian Air Resources Board (CARB) approved a proposal last week to raise the target for electricity generated from renewable sources to one third by 2020, representing a significant jump from the state’s previous 20% target by 2010 and the proposed national target of 15% by 2021.
CARB said the proposal stands to cut greenhouse gas emissions in California by up to 13 million tonnes annually.
Under the proposal, targets will be set at phased compliance intervals, starting with a 20% renewables electricity generation commitment between 2012 and 2014, rising incrementally to 33% by 2020.
Josh Margolis, San Francisco-based CEO of brokerage CantorCO2e, said most utilities recognise the need to prepare for a low-carbon economy and are broadly supportive of the renewables objective. However he said their ability to hit the target will depend on regulations in relation to out-of-state energy purchasing and a ramp up of grid capacity.
“It’s an aggressive target and one that will cause the utilities to stretch in order to meet it,” he said.
He added that utilities will need to show a greater commitment toward developing or purchasing renewables if they are to meet the target, adding that out of state purchases of renewable energy should be allowed.
By. Charlotte Dudley
Source: Environmental Finance