24/7 carbon-free energy is about to become a reality in California

Canary Media

Last week, Peninsula Clean Energy unveiled an analysis showing that, at least for the residents of San Mateo County and the town of Los Banos, California that it serves, round-the-clock clean energy by 2025 is not only theoretically possible but well within its technical and financial reach.

Peninsula Clean Energy CEO Jan Pepper said the new white paper, which uses data from a modeling tool PCE developed with partners over the past two years, validates the importance of the 24/7 carbon-free energy goal PCE set back in 2017. PCE’s board of directors is planning to use the findings of the analysis to formally set the 99 percent target into a ​“final procurement strategy” for the coming years, Pepper told Canary Media. ​“This is what we’re after.”

PCE’s modeling shows that procuring enough clean energy to supply its customers 99 percent of the hours of the year by 2025 is expected to cost only 2 percent more than its baseline energy-procurement plans, which deliver carbon-free energy roughly 70 percent of the hours of the year. That’s far less of a cost premium than one might expect for achieving round-the-clock clean energy almost every hour of the year. After making this finding, PCE adopted 99 percent 24/7 carbon-free energy as its official goal starting in 2025.

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