Southern California Edison introduces clean energy proposal to meet state’s climate, air quality goals; >7M EVs (24%) by 2030
Southern California Edison has proposed an integrated strategic framework for the state of California to meet its ambitious climate and air quality goals. SCE describes its Clean Power and Electrification Pathway in a white paper.
The approach builds upon existing state programs by identifying cost-effective actions to increase clean energy in the electric system and to leverage that clean electricity in the transportation and building sectors to achieve needed emissions reductions. California environmental goals include reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2030 and by 80% by 2050, as well as reducing nitrogen oxides (NOx) and other health-harming pollutants in areas of the state with the highest levels of air pollution by 2032.
SCE explored three alternatives decarbonization pathways for 2030: the clean power and electrification pathway; a renewable gas pathway; and a hydrogen pathway. The company found that the clean power and electrification path is the most affordable and feasible approach to reaching California’s climate and air quality goals.
The Clean Power and Electrification Pathway calls for three closely linked efforts that support and build upon each other:
Doubling the use of carbon-free electricity from 40% today to 80% by 2030, supported by energy storage. The electric sector has already reduced GHG emissions below 1990 levels and now accounts for only 19 percent of California’s GHG emissions.
The plan calls for increasing the use of large-scale, carbon-free generation such as wind, solar and large hydroelectric power plants to at least 80% of electricity delivered to customers, continued use of distributed rooftop solar and doubling energy efficiency by 2030.
Accelerating the use of electric vehicles. The transportation sector is the largest source of GHG emissions and local air quality problems, with 40% of the goods entering the nation moving through the region’s ports and highways.
The Pathway calls for at least 24 percent of light-duty vehicles—7 million—to be electrified by 2030. EVs charging from an increasingly clean electric grid can help reduce transportation sector GHG emissions from 169 to 111 MMT/year, one-third of the 2030 goal. Reduced gasoline demand will also provide the benefit of reducing industrial emissions from refineries.
The Pathway also calls for electrifying 15% of medium-duty and 6% of heavy-duty vehicles in the state by 2030, supporting needed GHG reductions and improvements in air quality.
To encourage consumer acceptance and adoption of electric vehicles, SCE’s proposal urges development of additional charging infrastructure and continued financial incentives that lower the purchase price of electric vehicles during the early stages of adoption, particularly for low- and middle-income communities.
In order to support at least 7 million electric cars by 2030, California will need to have over one million away-from-home charging ports. Funding will be needed to enable utilities and charging companies to deploy rapidly more infrastructure and chargers.
Increasing electrification of commercial and residential space and water heating. SCE’s plan indicates that the electrification of nearly one-third of residential and commercial space and water heaters, combined with continued improvements in energy efficiency in buildings, could reduce GHG emissions significantly.
The SCE proposal provides continued support for the state’s market-based, cap-and-trade program as a critical component of efforts to reduce GHG emissions, while striving to keep electricity affordably priced for utility customers. The proposal also recognizes the importance of geographically diverse sources of renewable energy and regional markets that support affordable, zero carbon energy supplies.
An Edison International company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of approximately 15 million via 5 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.