News & media

The need to improve transmission of clean power to homes, businesses

By Michael Colvin and V. John White | March 28, 2022 | CalMatters

IN SUMMARY

Two bills will tackle transmission issues for clean energy and give us a chance to build our way out of the climate crisis.

Californians get it. After years of unprecedented wildfires, growing awareness of the threat that dirty gas power plants pose to our health and climate, and now, the urgent wakeup call of Russia’s war in Ukraine, our state is remarkably unified about the need to shift to clean energy.

The only real question is how quickly we can make the transition to 100% clean power – and independence from fossil fuels – while keeping the lights on, bills affordable and ensuring there is enough energy available to meet future demand. This becomes more important as the state moves to electrify everything from the cars and trucks we drive to the buildings we live and work in.

A lot of attention has been paid recently to the amount of clean energy California is going to need in the next few years, with the state ordering procurement of massive amounts of clean power – 11.5 gigawatts by 2026, enough energy to power more than 8 million homes – to replace aging power plants.

Just as important, though, will be getting all of this new clean power where it is needed. Transmission – that is, moving electricity from where it is generated to our homes and businesses – is an often neglected part of the state’s clean energy conversation. If California is going to have any chance of achieving its climate goals, that is going to have to change.

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