Study Examines a Higher RPS Standard for California

A study jointly sponsored by California’s five largest electric utilities evaluates the operational challenges, potential solutions, and cost consequences of a higher Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) in California by 2030. It examines scenarios that combine a 40% or 50% RPS with 7,000 megawatts of behind-the-meter distributed generation in 2030 and finds that significant integration challenges are likely to emerge at an RPS above 33%. The most important is over-generation during daylight hours.

The study also examined a number of solutions, including enhanced regional coordination, a diverse portfolio of renewable resources, energy storage, and advanced demand response. The study also suggested that 50% RPS scenarios could increase average electric rates by 9 to 23% relative to a 33% RPS in 2030,but could be lessened via the solutions noted. Read the rest of the story here.

“An obvious answer to the desire for ever-increasing use of renewable energy in California is to refocus on energy and not just electricity,” said GEO President and CEO Doug Dougherty. “The incredible amount of thermal renewable energy for heating and cooling that can be harvested from the ground by geothermal heat pumps should be an integral part of the state’s energy policy and promotion.”