California grid sets new record for renewable energy.
- Apr 29, 2022 5:39 am GMT
On April 3, the California grid set a new record for reliance on renewable energy, running on 97.6% renewables at the peak during the later afternoon. The state and others could break records like this one more regularly as renewables make up more and more of the portfolio, and especially in the spring, when temperatures are comfortable enough to not run air conditioning or heat, resulting in greater demand and greater need for dirty peaker plants.
However, an expected California Public Utilities Commission could impact how often California is able to reach these numbers. The CPUC is going to decide what to do with its net metering program, which has helped the proliferation of solar throughout the state. They could, and are expected to, pull back incentives that pay solar customers retail prices for the extra energy they produce. This would make at-home solar less accessible and slow its growth.
Home solar amounts to grains of sand compared to the generation offered by utility scale solar. However, a renewable future will rely on vastly expanded generating capacity, which means every addition to home solar that can take load off the grid and send extra energy back into it, will be needed. The CPUC's new head has delayed the decision, but when it comes back up for a vote, the eyes of the industry will be on California.