It’s official. California’s plan to reach 50 percent renewables by 2030 is achievable. Not only that — it’s profitable. Analysts at Strategen Consulting found that the clean energy goals laid out in Governor Brown’s inaugural address will save the state $51 billion dollars every year.
California is already on track to generate one-third of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Meeting the 2030 target is a reasonable expectation if the state continues to install solar and wind projects at similar rates for the next 10 years. Energy storage and grid integration will also have to improve.
Strategen Consulting’s report, Impact Analysis: Governor Brown’s 2030 Energy Goals, examined the Governor’s clean energy goals. The findings were impressive. In addition to saving the state $4000 per household each year to create the $51 billion dollar economy boost, the plan will create 1.2 million job-years by 2030. It will also reduce the CO2 emission footprint by over 102 million tons per year. This represents a reduction of 42% from 2015 levels. In other words, it’s the equivalent of planting a forest the size of Maine. This in turn will result in 739 fewer deaths each year from emissions.
Janice Lin, Founder and Managing Partner at Strategen Consulting, said, “This analysis describes in clear, quantitative terms how Governor Brown’s vision will translate to an enormous benefit in so many areas critical to public health, economic stability, energy security and quality of life.”
The report identifies how innovative grid strategies and technologies can be deployed to meet these goals. Many of these technologies are available today, as we have reported previously. Some are currently in development. These include solar, energy storage, wind, LED lighting, and electric vehicles. All are becoming increasingly cost effective.
To attract the long-term private investments that will be necessary to develop the infrastructure, policy will need to be consistent and predictable. If California can make that happen, a clean future awaits.