New Energy Cut California’s Emissions
Renewable energy brings California emissions below 1990 levels; The state’s latest report shows that it has beat its 2020 target for emissions reductions four years early, mostly thanks to more renewable energy.
Christian Roselund, July 17, 2018 (PV Magazine)
“…[The latest data from California shows a] clear relationship between ongoing deployment of renewable energy and reduction in emissions, despite the closure of one of the state’s last nuclear power plants…[The state’s GHG emissions fell] to 429 million metric tons in 2016. This is below the 431 metric tons emitted in 1990 for the first time this century, and as such beats the state’s  goal for emissions reductions four years early…[A detailed inventory by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) shows that this was largely due to deployment of renewable energy… Overall emissions fell 18% in 2016 alone and total electric power emissions have fallen by roughly 1/3 from over 100 million tons CO2 equivalent in 2000 to less than 70 million tons in 2016…
…Combined rooftop and utility-scale solar met an estimated 13% of California’s electricity demand in 2017, the highest level of any U.S. state. And as solar generation has grown, generation from natural gas has fallen– as has spending on transmission…Some of the progress in 2016 and 2017 was due to very heavy hydroelectric generation, but the overall trend also shows a decline, and the biggest decreases from 2010-2016 came from lower GHG from imports…[CARB credits] the state’s 50% by 2030 Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and Cap-and-Trade programs…[for reducing California’s emissions] while its population and gross domestic product (GDP) both grow… Overall emissions per capita have fallen by roughly 1/4, and emissions per unit of GDP by about 1/3, with a clear decoupling of emissions from GDP starting in the year 2003…” click here for more