Wartsila leads discussion of policy issues affecting Californias push for 100% clean power

If California is to reach its renewable energy and emission targets as quickly and inexpensively as possible, some key policy issues will need to be addressed. Energy experts will explain the issues as outlined in an updated white paper during a webinar, Advancing California’s Faster, Cheaper Path to 100% Renewable Power, to be hosted by Wärtsilä on 5 May. The webinar is the second in a series that is part of the Path to 100% initiative, a global effort to build a community of experts who support moving toward 100% renewable energy. The white paper also details how California can reach its renewable electricity target by 2040 instead of its current goal of 2045; these findings were initially discussed in the first webinar of the series, held in March. The May webinar addresses policy considerations and answers questions arising from the first webinar.

The policy recommendations to be discussed among expert panellists and guests include:

  • The need for California formally to recognize thermal plants running on renewable fuels — including methane and hydrogen produced with excess solar and wind energy — as renewable and net-zero-carbon generation for the purposes of meeting clean electricity mandates
  • California’s ability to retire once-through-cooling power plants by 2023, while also ensuring adequate power supplies, if it follows the optimal path to 100% renewable energy as identified by state-of-the-art PLEXOS modelling of the energy system
  • The need for California to enable deployment of the optimal proportions of solar, wind, lithium-ion storage, and strategic amounts of fast-start, flexible thermal generation, if it is to align its power system with the optimal path discussed in the white paper  

In response to questions raised during the last webinar, Wärtsilä also added a scenario to the white paper which models using excess clean power to produce hydrogen, which could then be used as a carbon-free fuel in flexible power plants.

The results of the modelling work by Wärtsilä show that for California, the fastest, least-cost path to 100% clean energy involves expanding wind and solar generation while adding fast starting, flexible generation plants that can burn gas now, and use synthetic renewable fuels from power-to-hydrogen and power-to-methane processes as those technologies advance.

Source: Wartsila
Date: May 5, 2020