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White Paper

Our Path to 24/7 Renewable Energy By 2025

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Jan Pepper's picture
CEO Peninsula Clean Energy

Jan has 30+ years of energy/utility experience and is leading Peninsula Clean Energy to deliver 100% renewable energy on a 24/7 basis by 2025, and transition transportation and building energy...

  • Member since 2022
  • 3 items added with 459 views
  • Jan 25, 2022
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This item is part of the Special Issue - 2022-01 - Power Industry 2022 Trends & Predictions, click here for more

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Why we are pursuing 24/7 renewable power

Since our inception, Peninsula Clean Energy has pushed the boundaries in clean energy procurement and deployment to significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In 2016, we set an unprecedented goal for a California load serving entity at the time: to procure 100% renewable energy. However, we knew this goal in and of itself was not sufficient to drive the long-run transformation needed to achieve a fully decarbonized grid. So, we decided to push the boundaries even further. In 2017, we adopted a goal to deliver 100% renewable energy on a 24/7 basis by 2025, matching our renewable energy supply with our load every hour of every day to reduce our demand signal for fossil fuels from the grid.

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From the beginning, we also committed to affordable pricing and have maintained prices consistently below those of Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). We believe this is important for widespread consumer adoption of clean energy. This is because, even though research indicates that nearly half of Americans say they are willing to pay more for clean electricity, we have found that only a very small percentage of our customers choose to do so.

Peninsula Clean Energy was already delivering 50% renewable energy to our first customers in 2016, 14 years ahead of California’s goal of 50% renewable by 2030. In 2021, we procured 100% renewable or carbon-free power for all our nearly 300,000 customers.

We have done this while building a financially strong organization and providing this cleaner electricity at a consistently lower price than what our customers would pay at PG&E rates, demonstrating that we can reduce GHG emissions and save consumers money at the same time.

This is the cornerstone of the challenge we set for ourselves: How to cost-effectively deliver 100% renewable energy on a 24/7 basis by 2025. Because our load profile is similar in shape to the system-wide load profile in the state, we believe that achieving this goal would demonstrate that this approach is scalable state-wide. If we can achieve this goal, we can provide a model for other load serving entities to follow and accelerate further reductions of GHG emissions in the electricity supply.

The need to do this is urgent, a fact recognized by many since we set our goal in 2017. The following year, Google described its vision of a 24/7 carbon-free goal for their data centers and campuses, and in 2020 set a goal to achieve this by 2030.3 Cities such as Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Des Moines have now set similar goals, and researchers at RMI (formerly Rocky Mountain Institute) and Princeton have begun studying the trend.4 Earlier this year, the United Nations started building a global coalition for 24/7 carbon free energy.5 Our goal still remains the most ambitious in terms of its timeline and commitment to renewable energy.

This white paper introduces Peninsula Clean Energy’s vision for 24/7 renewable energy, our progress to date, and at a high level how we are planning to achieve it by 2025. This paper will be followed in the next few months with a report containing the results of our modeling, including details about the expected costs and resource mix required to achieve this unprecedented goal.

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jan 25, 2022

Do you think your approach will be scalable to the entities with significantly larger footprints, or was your size an asset towards being able to move so swiftly to such goals? 

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Jan Pepper on Jan 26, 2022

Thank you for your question Matt.  We absolutely think our approach will be scalable to entities with significantly larger footprints.  As we note in the paper, we are embarking on this effort in order to show that it can be done, and to serve as a model for others to also pursue.  We note on page 9 that our load follows the pattern of the system-wide load in California.  Because of this, other load serving entities here in California can replicate this approach.  And by doing it here in California, it also serves as a model that other areas of the county can follow as well.   We want to move swiftly toward this goal because climate change is happening now, and action needs to be taken now. 

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Jan Pepper on Mar 2, 2022

Meant to write:

And by doing it here in California, it also serves as a model that other areas of the country can follow as well.

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