Strategen study says California’s ambitious renewable energy plan can work

BERKELEY, Calif., May 12, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – Strategen Consulting, a strategic consulting firm whose clients are reshaping the electric power system, today released a detailed impact analysis that quantifies the economic and societal impacts of California Governor Jerry Brown’s clean energy goals for 2030, which were announced in his inaugural address earlier this year. The report, which includes substantial data and analysis, provides convincing evidence that the Governor’s plan is economically sound, environmentally beneficial, and achievable.  

The Strategen report, entitled “Impact Analysis: Governor Brown’s 2030 Energy Goals,” indicates that by 2030, 1.2 million job-years will be created in construction, manufacturing, sales, service and support related to California’s new domestic energy infrastructure, as well as through the economic activity resulting from energy savings. The associated reduction in pollution will save lives, reduce healthcare costs and improve the quality of life for all Californians.

“This analysis describes in clear, quantitative terms how Governor Brown’s vision will translate to an enormous benefit in so many areas critical to public health, economic stability, energy security and quality of life,” said Janice Lin, Founder and Managing Partner, Strategen Consulting. “We already have the advanced technologies and technical capabilities, which when combined with legislative and regulatory support and backed by forward-thinking investors, will propel California to a global leadership position in energy sustainability and independence.”  

Some report highlights, based on implementation of the Governor’s plan:

  • $51 billion in annual savings from 2030 on, or $4,000 per household each year
  • CO2 emission footprint will drop by over 102 million tons per year, a reduction of 42% from 2015 levels – equivalent to planting a forest the size of Maine.
  • 739 fewer deaths each year due to the emissions reductions
  • Creation of 1.2 million job-years by 2030, including 870,000 job-years in the wind and solar industries (up from 44,700 today)
  • Significantly less vulnerability to volatile fossil fuel prices, along with enhanced grid efficiency, reliability and resiliency thanks to renewable resources backed by energy storage

These benefits are sufficiently compelling that state policymakers should now develop a cost-optimized, long-term strategy to ensure success and enable the state to realize them. The report lays out ways that innovative grid strategies and technologies can be deployed to meet the Governor’s goals. Many of these technologies are available today, with some being developed in California. All are rapidly descending the cost curve, including solar, energy storage, wind, LED lighting, and electric vehicles (EVs).

California is already on track to generate 33% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Meeting the 50% renewables target set out for 2030 will require the continuation of solar and wind installations at similar rates for another 10 years, while adding complementary resources, such as energy storage, to assist with renewable resource integration.

A consistent and predictable policy environment is also needed to attract the private investment that will drive development ofCalifornia’s future energy infrastructure. The resulting build-out of energy resources and distribution systems by 2030 will require long-term investments in areas such as energy storage, EV charging networks, and transmission and electricity grid infrastructure, as well as continued support for renewable generation and fuel-efficient vehicles.

“Impact Analysis: Governor Brown’s 2030 Energy Goals” is available for free download at http://www.strategen.com/insights/ins_publications.html   

About Strategen Consulting
Strategen provides clean energy consulting services to governments, utilities, global Fortune 100 firms, and innovative startups, empowering them with the insight they need to tackle their most critical business, market and regulatory issues.