California is too optimistic about energy efficiency
- Nov 18, 2022 8:43 am GMT
California air quality officials have unveiled a plan for the state to be carbon neutral by 2045. Beyond the non-existent carbon footprint, this plan makes some big promises: a 71 percent reduction in smog-forming nitrogen oxides and around $200 billion in healthcare savings.
That’s all great, but the plan is premised on theoretical energy savings and boosted generation that are unprecedented or just unavailable.
Take the issue of transportation, for example. The plan calls for gas-powered vehicles to be swapped out for electric or hydro ones. The transportation sector, afterall, made up 50% of the state’s carbon footprint in 2019. However, this move would send electricity demand skyrocketing. To mitigate a demand increase, the plan stipulates that Californians will reduce their miles driven by 25% in 2030 and 30% by 2045. I hope that happens, but California has NEVER succeeded in getting residents to drive less, despite various efforts.
Similarly, the plan seeks to electrify buildings and homes. Again, electricity demand will be mitigated through energy efficiency. But what new energy efficiency measures does California have up its sleeve? The state already has some of the strictest energy consumption codes in the country. Heck, it’s basically illegal to own a gaming desktop in the state.
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