Can California Meet Senate Bill 350's Ambitious Energy Goals?
This month's passage of The Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015 (Senate Bill 350), authored by Senate Pro Tem Kevin de León and Senator Mark Leno, marks a significant moment in California's legislative history. The law includes numerous provisions to ensure California has the cleanest mix of energy possible by 2030.
In a recent NRDC Switchboard post, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Director of California Energy Efficiency Policy Lara Ettenson outlines the law's jaw-dropping energy targets:
- A doubling of energy efficiency based on the 2014 approved demand forecast for California energy use and the publicly owned utilities' energy-saving targets, which will yield nearly 89,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity savings and more than 1,300 million therms (MMth) of natural gas savings (based on the most recent natural gas forecast) over the next 15 years—equal to the electricity needed to serve all of the 2013 households in California and the natural gas required to provide about 13 billion hot showers every year.
- Doubling our efficiency is also expected to meet more than 25 percent of our expected electricity demand and 10 percent of our natural gas demand in 2030 (based on the 2014 demand forecast projections extended out to 2030).
- California's projected electricity demand in 2030--after accounting for the doubling of energy efficiency--is expected to be 10 percent lower than all of the state's 2014 electricity consumption.
- While electric vehicle deployment will likely increase electricity demand by at least 14,000 GWh, that is only about one-seventh of the expected electricity savings from SB 350, ensuring that Californians will still receive substantial benefits (like increased comfort and lower bills) from doubling our energy efficiency savings by 2030 while also avoiding paying for more costly gasoline at the pump.
The takeaway? "Now is the time for decision-makers, advocates, and other stakeholders to work together, coordinate efforts across the state, and be thoughtful about how to successfully implement policy and programmatic changes to reach the goals in SB 350," says Ettenson.
Read the complete blog post from NRDC Switchboard.