CEERT Accomplishments

In recent years CEERT has:

  • Won support from decision-makers and the public for a progressively stronger California Renewable Portfolio Standard, which currently mandates that by 2030, 50% of the power sold in the state must come from renewable sources.
  • Sponsored and staffed the California 2030 Low-Carbon Grid Study, which affirmed that the state could cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its electricity sector in half by 2030 with minimal rate impact and no compromise of grid reliability. The LCGS Phase I findings were a critical element that helped prompt Governor Brown to set new, groundbreaking climate and clean-energy goals for the state in early 2015.
  • Produced an analysis by CEERT Senior Technical Consultant Jim Caldwell and Bill Marcus of MCPM Economics that persuaded PG&E that relicensing its Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant would be less economical for ratepayers than replacing the plant with a portfolio of clean-energy resources.
  • Coordinated the Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative, which used a combined economic and environmental assessment to identify prime renewable energy zones in California and the West.
  • Secured approval of new transmission lines from the Tehachapi and Imperial Valley regions to bring new wind, solar, and geothermal power to coastal load centers.
  • Helped develop guidelines by the California Energy Commission and the Department of Fish and Game that will significantly reduce bird deaths and injuries from new wind turbines, thereby mitigating a central obstacle to accelerated wind power development.
  • Helped win Public Utilities Commission approval of the California Solar Initiative, a 10-year, $2.9 billion program that brought down solar electricity costs for consumers and stimulated 3,000 megawatts of new solar capacity on the state’s rooftops by 2017.
  • With the Environmental Defense Fund, published Clearing California’s Coal Shadow from the American West, which helped derail more than 20 coal-burning projects in the Western states.
  • Helped persuade then-mayor of Los Angeles James Hahn to withdraw from the planned expansion of the coal-fired Intermountain Power Plant 3 project in Utah and commit LA to increased reliance on renewable energy.
  • Helped the California Air Resources Board (CARB) develop and adopt its Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), the first regulation of its kind in the world.
  • Put forward strong advocacy in the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), a blueprint for how much Southern California land will be available for solar and wind projects. CEERT coauthored a solar development plan that called for the DRECP to include 260,000 acres for solar thermal projects in the West Mojave, which has the highest insolation in the U.S.
  • Played a critical role in the negotiations that led to the filing of unprecedented joint environmental and solar industry comments on the Bureau of Land Management’s Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement.
  • Helped bring about a strengthened section on methane and other potent, short-lived climate pollutants in the California Air Resources Board’s AB 32 Scoping Plan Update.
  • Launched a program to support technologies that capture methane from dairies, feedlots, landfills, food processors, wastewater treatment plants, and oil and gas production operations, and use it to generate clean power through fuel cells, micro-turbines, and reciprocating engines.
  • Served as technical lead for state and national NGOs on criteria emissions standards for CARB’s revised LEV III regulations, which set performance standards for typical passenger vehicles sold in California.
  • Challenged the California Independent System Operator’s needs assessments for local reliability requirements, and its consideration of only gas-fired power for meeting those needs. Our advocacy helped persuade the CPUC Energy Division to explore the use of preferred alternative resources (i.e., efficiency and renewables) for this purpose.
  • Persuaded the California Energy Commission to request that the California Independent System Operator explore a clean-energy alternative to the Puente gas-fired power plant proposed for the City of Oxnard — a plant strongly opposed by the city and by local environmental justice organizations.