Claim: California can Hit 85% Renewable Energy by 2030

Essay by Eric Worrall

According to “Energy Innovation” and Telos Energy, California can improve grid stability and hit green energy targets by shutting down most remaining fossil fuel capacity, and fully committing to a green energy grid.

California Can Reliably Hit 85% Clean Energy By 2030 Without Risking Outages – En Route To A 100% Clean Grid

Energy Innovation: Policy and Technology Contributor

We Are A Nonpartisan Climate Policy Think Tank Helping Policymakers Make Informed Energy Policy Choices And Accelerate Clean Energy By Supporting The Policies That Most Effectively Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions. 

Eric Gimon Contributor Senior Fellow

Power crises during California’s August 2020 heat waves raised questions about how reliable the state’s grid will be on the road to its target of 100% clean energy by 2045. 

But new research provides clear answers: California can reliably achieve an 85% clean electricity grid by 2030 with a diverse mix of renewables and batteries, flexible demand, trade with neighboring states, and some existing power plants—under multiple build-out assumptions and possible future conditions. It turns out a cleaner grid is a more reliable grid.

The technical report provides a novel methodology to help policymakers rapidly evaluate many future resource portfolios and assumptions to secure a future clean energy grid. By including scenarios and sensitivities that examine reliability using details like hourly wind and solar data matched to hourly demand data for eight possible years across the Western U.S., modelers can compare benefits of different resource portfolios relatively quickly and at low cost. 

An equitable clean electricity transition depends upon investing in, and creating markets for economically viable clean energy portfolios that help retire natural gas units harming California’s most pollution-burdened communities. A just transition for impacted communities also includes increasing community resiliency, building clean resources with job and economic benefits, and using local consultation in selecting new investments.

The technical study’s multiple scenarios found that the state’s grid would be reliable even after retiring 11.5 gigawatts (GW), or about one third of California’s existing gas capacity. Though beyond the scope of the technical study, the companion policy report recommends prioritizing retiring gas plants located near or in disadvantaged communities no later than 2030, while zeroing out the state’s reliance on gas as soon as possible. Some agencies including the CPUC, have made some progress with inclusivity and environmental justice, but stalled efforts to retire gas show there’s more work yet to do. 

Read more:–en-route-to-a-100-clean-grid/

The full report is available here – and – big surprise – it contains a bunch of weasel words.

“… There is a continued need for gas generation or economic imports to serve load from the summer through to winter. …”.

While the study suggests a 85% clean electricity target can be reliable, further work should explore the impacts of transmission congestion through nodal analysis, and the impacts of inverter based resources on grid stability.

What can I say. California seems utterly determined to be the next pauper state.

We’ve all read histories of the fall of the Roman Empire, Imperial China, or other great powers, and marvelled at the foolish decisions which led to collapse, but one thing which isn’t always clear from just reading the books is the momentum behind such foolishness, the depth, the sheer dogged determination of large groups of people to act against their own national interest. It is not just the leaders of failing states who make bad decisions, it is their entire support network, a juggernaut of arrogance and delusion, which leads to the ultimate downfall.

I think it is worth continuing to try. Sometimes nations on the brink make the right decisions, and pull back from disaster. Sometimes the emperor realises he has no clothes.

But anyone with an ounce of engineering talent can see where California’s ruinous policies could lead, the human tragedy in the making, how close California and other green states are to losing all the security and comfort their parents and grandparents worked their butts off to provide.

5 35 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
May 12, 2022 2:01 pm

Unreliable energy of wind and solar is a setback for humanity 🙁

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Derg
May 13, 2022 12:54 am

low density sources do that.
Density: solar < wind < wood/biofuel < hydropower < gas, oil, coal < nuclear.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
May 13, 2022 10:43 am

The Green blight.

May 12, 2022 2:02 pm

Want to bet this considers the Los Angeles DWP owned coal plants in AZ & NV to be the mysterious “economic imports to serve load” as not counting?

Reply to  Rob_Dawg
May 13, 2022 10:42 am

Shared/shifted responsibility.

Peta of Newark
May 12, 2022 2:05 pm

Eighty Five Percent of how much though?

Reply to  Peta of Newark
May 12, 2022 8:26 pm

Usually the calculation is nameplate capacity, capacity factor conveniently ignored for promotional purposes.

So 85 per cent maybe 25 per cent achievable?

Dave Fair
Reply to  Peta of Newark
May 13, 2022 10:07 am

Whatever is net of them cutting off consumers to ration shortages. You know, Demand Side Management. A feature of Leftist and socialist systems.

May 12, 2022 2:07 pm

They will easily achieve their goals because 85% of the current population will have moved to another state.

Ron Long
Reply to  TEWS_Pilot
May 12, 2022 4:39 pm

OK, California is a great state, the only problem is that it is infested with Californians (Willis excepted). So, if 15% of Californians die from cold, and 85% flee the state, California will be great again (in this scenario Willis can be Governor).

Reply to  Ron Long
May 12, 2022 5:26 pm

Anthony, too. (That I know of.)

Reply to  writing observer
May 12, 2022 8:00 pm

I’m not so sure Anthony is still a resident of Kalifornia, is he?

Tom Halla
May 12, 2022 2:07 pm

Texas has an unreliable grid with some thirty percent wind. Just how many black or brownouts will they accept?

Reply to  Tom Halla
May 12, 2022 7:25 pm

Apparently complete grid failure.

Texans love to bitch and moan, but reluctant to act.

I moved out of ERCOT and into SPP region because the GOP led state wanted to virtue signal so much that they kneecapped Texas. Then Bush, Perry and Abbott seemed hell bent to import as many Californians in to add to the energy burden.

Its purely political. Big Tech wanted the grift and the green credits so they bribed and built up massive wind farms. The pols wanted to scoop up that Big Tech bounty, and here we are.

Reply to  AWG
May 13, 2022 8:05 am

there is no Virtue Signaling. Its call Profit Taking. When the idiots in Congress decided to dump billions into unreliable energy, businessmen signed up for the free cash. Famous quote from Warren Buffett:

Reply to  davetherealist
May 13, 2022 12:23 pm

The Forbes link reads like a commercial for solar farms; chock full of misleading statements [solar is cheaper than FF, and grid scale batteries cost $13/MWh] plus come-ons for certain solar stocks. Nonsense.

Jeff Reppun
Reply to  B Zippeer
May 14, 2022 10:30 pm

Forbes is being sold to the Chinese. You know, the guys that sell us solar panels, lithium batteries, etc, etc, etc………………….

David A
Reply to  Tom Halla
May 13, 2022 4:31 pm

California will run out of power and water for most of its inmates, um citizens. And the political leaders will increase their salary.

May 12, 2022 2:18 pm

what kind of fool notion is Eric Gimon pushing? does he think we are the fools?
Already this month we in CA have been told to prepare for electricity shortages this summer, and every day on television & radio they run PSA ads telling us to not use electric power after sunset, to use power only when renewable energy is highest – i.e. don’t work unless the sun is shining

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Rhee
May 12, 2022 3:04 pm

So much for the lights after dark.
Q: what did CA use for light before candles?
A: electricity.

Reply to  Rhee
May 13, 2022 1:02 am

That’s called “demand management” – it’s how the renewable grid can be more reliable.

The black outs will be planned, you see, so doesn’t count as being unreliable.

Tim Gorman
May 12, 2022 2:32 pm

trade with neighboring states,”

Do these people learn NOTHING from history? Even recent history? Texas found out during its freeze that other regions had nothing to spare for TX even if the power could be transferred!

Why does CA and these think tank people think other states are going to overbuild their generation infrastructure in order to have spare to send to CA?

CA and these think tank people want the taxpayers in other states to subsidize their ridiculous memes. And ridiculous they are!

Reply to  Tim Gorman
May 12, 2022 2:51 pm

Yes, but in the later 90s when Calufornia faced an energy crisis, President Bill Joe Jim Bob Clinton went to Bonneville Power and said, “Thou shalt sell electricity through the intertie to California”. BPA then had to by back electricity from the aluminum plants in Oregon and Washington in order to sell it to California at some outrageous price.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Kemaris
May 12, 2022 3:48 pm

Only works if there is power to put into the intertie. When Oregon, Washington, Nevade, etc have no excess power I’m pretty sure the governors of those states will tell CA to go fish!

David A
Reply to  Tim Gorman
May 13, 2022 4:36 pm

“Can’t fish in dry reservoirs”, says California.

“You should have thought of that as well,” says Oregon and Washington.

Reply to  Tim Gorman
May 12, 2022 3:37 pm

They get summer electricity from ‘excess’ NW hydro.

If NW states have to get to the stated 50% or 100% or whatever goal, then there will be no excess for California.

The think tank folks need to think about that.

Dave Fair
Reply to  DonM
May 13, 2022 10:11 am

If they did they wouldn’t get paid by the Leftist governments.

Reply to  Tim Gorman
May 12, 2022 3:45 pm

They will ( for the right price) $1/kwh anyone?

Reply to  Tim Gorman
May 12, 2022 11:20 pm

There should not be one single electron worth of power provided from other states to help bailout failing California from their self imposed madness.. Not one single electron!!

Reply to  Tim Gorman
May 13, 2022 6:51 am

A lot of that “neighboring states” power would have to come over the mountains and through the forests, and we all know how well high voltage lines do in dry forested areas if there is any breeze at all.

Robert Hanson
Reply to  starzmom
May 13, 2022 2:37 pm

Luckily we don’t have drought conditions to worry about while doing that. Oh, wait…

May 12, 2022 2:34 pm

From the narrative it is obvious think tanks are useless.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Olen
May 13, 2022 8:16 am

This thinktank, anyway. Pie in the Sky.

Gordon A. Dressler
May 12, 2022 2:35 pm

Anyone else see the sleight-of-hand being played by Mr.Eric Gimon, Contributor Senior Fellow at Energy Innovation (in their own words, a policy think tank, imagine that!) in his statement quoted in the above article:
” California can reliably achieve an 85% clean electricity grid by 2030 with a diverse mix of renewables and batteries, flexible demand, trade with . . .”

I still laugh out loud considering that the “diverse mix” unashamedly includes “flexible demand” . . . as in, when it turns out in 2030 that California has only have achieved, say, 18% clean electricity—nowhere near the pie-in-the-sky 85% reliably predicted just 8 years earlier—the “flexible demand” will likely be achieved via by a surcharge of, oh, about $100 per kWh for any residence consuming more than the State-rationed, limited amount of electricity that will be available then.

Bottom line: c’mon, you really expect a “think tank” to have any appreciation of reality?

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
May 12, 2022 3:06 pm

Flexible demand can also be achieved by rolling blackouts. Just not VOLUNTARY flexible demand.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 13, 2022 10:17 am

Voluntary participation in demand management schemes will collapse into mandatory participation when regular curtailments begin to impact comfort, safety and economics for consumers, Rud.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
May 12, 2022 3:07 pm

Flexible demand more likely means smart meters that will allow the utility to limit or turn off your power usage during shortages.

They’ll meet their goals of providing for 85% of demand by forcibly reducing demand to meet the generating capacity.

The reality will be lots of sitting in the dark, no AC, and freezers that had better hold their cold when the power is off.

The rich, including Gavin Noisome, will not suffer the deprivations.

Reply to  Pat Frank
May 12, 2022 8:22 pm

Of course. Because the rich can all afford to buy 25+ horsepower gasoline powered alternators. But the poor can’t and won’t be able to because Gavin Newsom, by executive decree, outlawed all gasoline engines under 25 HP starting in 2025.

Reply to  Doonman
May 12, 2022 9:02 pm

Except that Newsom has banned small gas and diesel generators.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Doonman
May 13, 2022 2:46 am

Unless it is powered by nat gas coming in through a pipeline, or a huge tank of propane stored on property, a generator will not do a person much for very long, unless they can survive on low power usage and readily get many cans of gasoline every day.

25 HP is over 18 kilowatts.
A 10 Kilowatt generator uses about 10 gallons a day at 50% of capacity.
So a 16KW one running on gasoline and using a large proportion of those watts will need a lot of gasoline.
I can tell you, it is hard to manage even a smaller generator when power runs out.
Many gas stations will not be open.
They will be running out of gas, there will be lines, and a person will be using gas to go get gas when it is not for sure it is available.
And it will get expensive very quickly.
But any generator will cost far more to run that we are used to paying for power coming in through the mains.

Propane is much better.
Using standard industry calculations for an average user…
A 100 gallon tank will run a whole home generator for a day or two.
A 500 gallon tank will last a home for 7-10 days.
1000 gallons will last 14 to 21 days.
Check cost for a fillup of a 1000 gallon tank.
Where I live, you can get the tank installed for free, but only if at last some of the appliances in your home are running on gas.
IOW, propane suppliers will not underwrite the cost of a tank if you only use it for back up power.
But they will if you have gas water heating, clothes drying, cooking, heating…one or more at least.

Of course, one can always use more or less power in a given situation depending on conditions, the reason for the power outage, and the expectation of getting a delivery when needed.
If it is after a hurricane and power is out over a wide area because of wrecked power infrastructure, it may be a month before power is restored to a particular home, and a propane delivery during these times is iffy or out of the question over the time scale of a week or two.

Someone in a huge rich person mansion will find out very quickly that a generator with even a huge 1000 gallon tank will not allow a person accustomed to living without regard to power usage is going to quickly be useless.
All the money in the world will not let someone get a propane delivery whenever they need one, when everyone wants as much as they can get over a wide area like a whole state.
Standard calculations do not apply when a home is many thousands of square feet, and there are pool pumps and such, several separate multi-ton AC units running, and all the rest of the power hungry devices and appliances a wealthy person uses every day.
Also such people may be poorly equipped to figure out how quickly they will run out, or how to turn off stuff even when they realize they need to.
Do you need hot water 24-7?
Do you need to wash all laundry as it collects?
Do you know how to close off AC vents to unused parts of the structure?
Do you know how to turn off pool pumps and automatic lights and whatnot?

The only people who do not have a precarious situation if backup generators are in use for more than a very short time, are people who have piped in natural gas.

I am of the opinion the US should have a nat gas pipeline buildout on the scale of the rural electrification act.
Everyone should be using nat gas for anything involving heat…hot water, clothes drying, cooking, home heating, etc.
And of course backup generators.

Then again, I also think it is stupid for people to have homes worth many hundreds of thousands, let alone over a million dollars, but have no sprinklers, no floor drains in every room on the ground floor, or to live in a place with high wildfire risk and not have a fireproof roof.
Even then, how much would it cost to put sprinklers on a roof?
Cross connected to the swimming pool if wildfires typically cause water supply to fail?
Very little compared to what is at stake.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 13, 2022 3:11 am

“A 10 Kilowatt generator uses about 10 gallons a day at 50% of capacity.”

I should have said it will use about 10 gallons in 10 hours at 1/2 load.
So at full load, maybe 2 gallons per hour?
So for a 24 hour day?
50 gallons of gasoline.
That is ten 5 gallons cans of gas.
And a whole home unit running at 18,000 watts (about 25 HP)?
Easy to see that even if one does not have to worry about the fact that gas is upwards of $4.50 a gallon, (and I think a lot more in California)
A gasoline powered generator is problematic under the best of circumstances.
And my (admittedly limited) personal experience is that when a backup generator is needed for more than a few hours (due to a small local outage caused by a car running into a power pole for instance), one can be fairly certain that circumstances are likely to be as far from ideal as can be imagined.

For anyone who has never been where power is out over a wide area for days and weeks on end, I can tell you, you cannot even imagine how fast everything falls apart.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 13, 2022 8:10 am

I even wonder how many of these people have ever spent a week or more at something like a Boy Scout camp where there is no air conditioning, no hot water heater, no running water at all, where the temp gets up to 90F during the day or below freezing at night, where all cooking is done over a campfire or firepit, no electric fans, no electric lights, no refrigerators, etc.

How many have eaten noodles, pancakes, beans, rice, tomatoes, potatoes, and other non-perishable food morning, noon, and night for a week.

My guess is that most of these people would pack up and move somewhere with reliable power after the first day!

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 13, 2022 2:27 pm

Sounds like ‘An Official Feature’ to me.


Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 13, 2022 6:37 am

How will they charge up all those electric cars they will be mandated to use?

Fortunately, pot grows easily in CA and they will be able to avoid attending to reality a bit longer.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 13, 2022 10:46 am

“Unless it is powered by nat gas coming in through a pipeline, or a huge tank of propane stored on property, a generator will not . . .”

But isn’t the whole point of the above article that, largely by 2030 and absolutely by 2045, the State of California has decreed* that it will not have any natural gas or propane—indeed no fossil fuel of any kind—supplies or distribution infrastructure.

*very much along the line of Pharaoh’s (as played by Yul Brynner) statement in the movie The Ten Commandments:
“So let it be written, so let it be DONE!”
(see the video clip at . . . it is iconic!)

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Pat Frank
May 13, 2022 11:48 am

Or ironically, the state’s electric generation will rely more and more on generators.

Powered by fossil fuels of course.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
May 13, 2022 11:46 am

Yes, if the ‘think tank’ is one whose foundation lies in logic and reason; for a ‘think tank’ whose raison d’etre is pimping worse-than-useless ‘renewable’ energy (i.e., wind and solar provided at the whims of the weather and requiring 100% backup if you don’t tolerate blackouts), not so much.

John Hultquist
May 12, 2022 2:35 pm

 I’ve only contempt for The Late Great Golden State** until the towers and wires of the Pacific DC Intertie {Path 65} and the California Oregon Intertie (AC) {Path 66} are removed and the metals recycled. (Both originating near Celilo Falls OR/WA)

**song, Mike Stinson; also see Dwight Yoakam’s version

May 12, 2022 2:44 pm

But, but this is what California wants, so let them do it.

Reply to  Terry
May 12, 2022 8:37 pm

That’s true. It’s also true that people are voting with their feet as California keeps losing large employers and population. 33% of all Californians receive welfare now, including forced subsidy of electric rates for low income including illegals. At some point they will run out of other peoples money.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Doonman
May 13, 2022 8:21 am

“At some point they will run out of other peoples money.”

That always happens with socialists.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Terry
May 13, 2022 10:24 am

Given CA’s size and economic impact: “As California goes, the nation goes.” Look at their impact on vehicle standards nationwide.

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  Dave Fair
May 13, 2022 7:20 pm

G’Day Dave, and others

 Look at their impact on vehicle standards nationwide.”

A couple of hours ago I glanced at a news article – about a number of State Attorneys General suing the Federal EPA for “Allowing California to set vehicle emission standards for the entire country.” I wish them luck.

J Mac
May 12, 2022 2:44 pm

RE: “…the human tragedy in the making, how close California and other green states are to losing all the security and comfort their parents and grandparents worked their butts off to provide.”

This is what troubles me most. The self reassuring stupidity of the unreliable energy supporters is destroying the low cost, reliable 24/7/365 energy delivery systems their ancestors worked so hard to build. Such selfish stupidity…..

Rud Istvan
May 12, 2022 2:45 pm

Just like the UK and NY, we really need CA to follow this ‘advice’ and fail miserably. Only then can we skeptics hold the people spinning such obvious nonsense to account. The problem is, they think it isn’t nonsense—and have persuaded ‘know nothing’ politicians like BoJo and Newsom that they are correct.

Lets hope reality bites real hard real soon.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 12, 2022 3:31 pm

They’d not have been fooled into thinking it’s not nonsense if the APS and the AIP had provided an honest and critical appraisal of CO₂ alarm, Rud.

But they didn’t. They colluded. They’ve been thoroughly dishonest — I can’t believe their management is that incompetent. The result has been the worst scientific and social scandal ever.

It’s possible the Covid Nuremberg violation may grow past it. But apart from that.

Alastair gray
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 12, 2022 4:32 pm

Faling already in UK with more and more due to fall into fuel poverty this winter but the politicans sail glibly on without a care and a feeling that the ship of state is in safe hands. rampant inflation, destruction of our agriculture etc what can go wrong. Just massive famine and death .

Reply to  Alastair gray
May 19, 2022 12:25 am

That’s a feature, not a glitch. You will own nothing, and be happy.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 12, 2022 7:16 pm

It isn’t clear that the failures will make any difference. Consider the virus saga with its forceful denial of effective treatments and pretend voodoo mask charms.

Ty Hallsted
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 13, 2022 3:22 pm

Have we, the people, ever successfully held any politicians to account? At best they get voted out of office but that’s hardly sufficient for the damage they can inflict. Will Biden be “held to account”? Not likely.

Reply to  Ty Hallsted
May 19, 2022 12:26 am

See Sri Lanka. Seems to be the only answer.

John the Econ
May 12, 2022 3:04 pm

“…trade with neighboring states…”

In other words, do what they’ve basically been doing for the last 20 years; shutting down their own fossil fuel generating capacity and outsourcing it from out of state when it gets too cold or too hot. Sort of how the US has already outsourced much of it’s high-carbon manufacturing to China.

That’s okay. My state makes energy and food. We’ll be happy to export our surplus to California at peak demand, and cost.

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  John the Econ
May 13, 2022 7:29 pm

G’Day John,

“… outsourcing it from out of state …”

California ISO – Supply, Today’s Outlook

The last graph on the page is “Imports Trend” – it is not a negligible amount.

Andy Pattullo
May 12, 2022 3:10 pm

In a democracy voters have every right to chose failure over success if they wish. The fact so many Californians are voting that way is sad, but not nearly as concerning as if really productive, and intellectually honest people did the same. Let them vote for a new dark ages if they wish and begin to live the “rustic life” of poverty. The smart and productive ones can move to states where common sense is considered more important than posturing and celebrity.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Andy Pattullo
May 12, 2022 3:33 pm

The US is not a democracy. Neither is California. They’re constitutional republics.

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  Pat Frank
May 12, 2022 6:01 pm

True, not a “direct democracy” but for many constitutional scholars (which I am clearly not) a “representative democracy.” My point was that the right to either vote for policies (e.g. by plebescite), or vote for representatives who create policy – voters can choose their fate rightly or wrongly.

Reply to  Andy Pattullo
May 12, 2022 7:20 pm

It was supposed to be a government of limited powers.

Reply to  Andy Pattullo
May 13, 2022 6:41 am

And CA, through its initiatives process actually has a considerable direct democracy process

Ty Hallsted
Reply to  Andy Pattullo
May 13, 2022 3:25 pm

The problem with that is that in all likelihood the rest of us will share the cost of their failure since CA will be deemed “too big to fail”.

David A
Reply to  Pat Frank
May 13, 2022 4:47 pm

Suppose to be anyway.

Reply to  Andy Pattullo
May 12, 2022 5:32 pm

And which states are those?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
May 13, 2022 3:26 am

Florida for one.

Reply to  Andy Pattullo
May 12, 2022 7:03 pm

California is not isolated from the rest of the country. Their idiocy in this matter will affect the rest of us in countless ways—especially fresh foods.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Dave
May 13, 2022 3:27 am

Great time for people who have not done in a while to start a garden.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 13, 2022 8:11 am

Don’t forget to get canning supplies!

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Dave
May 13, 2022 1:30 pm

Not to mention the range of choice for non-useless vehicles.

Reply to  Andy Pattullo
May 12, 2022 7:19 pm

smart enough but too poor is very common = no good choice.

May 12, 2022 3:13 pm

I’m sorry, but every time I read “a novel methodology…“, I read that as a new way to produce numbers and statistics that we want.

Reply to  AussieBear
May 12, 2022 9:48 pm

Since early 2020, the word ‘novel’ means something bad, for non-Latin speakers. It reminds of novel virus.

Chris Hanley
May 12, 2022 3:34 pm

Claim: California can Hit 85% Renewable Energy by 2030In 20-21

California imported more electricity than any other state and typically receives between one-fifth and one-third of its electricity supply from outside of the state (eia)
The only way the “85%” can be done is by drastically increasing imports, if that were even possible.
All the leaves are brown (all the leaves are brown) And the sky is gray (and the sky is gray) I’ve been for a walk (I’ve been for a walk) On a winter’s day (on a winter’s day) I’d be safe and warm (I’d be safe and warm) If I was in L.A. (if I was in L.A.) California dreamin’ (California dreamin’) ….

May 12, 2022 3:35 pm

Right, 85% renewable. The missing15% is when it’s dark and/or not windy (or too windy).

May 12, 2022 3:45 pm

Bring it on. After all, it’s best if one place tries it out first, rather than the whole world plunging together into uncharted territory. (Although it does appear that the global plunge is well underway).

Maybe one little idea that slipped into the plan needs more explaination: “flexible demand”. It looks like this means that demand has to flex according to electricity availability. Apart from the fact that this gets electricity supply backwards (the whole point of having an electricity supply in the first place is for it to meet electricity demand), it also means that CA will easily be able to report that it successfully met all demand. In other words, if you always force demand to be no more than the supply at any particular point in time, then supply always meets demand – even if you have to force demand to be zero every night when the sun goes in.

Yes, bring it on, until CAians wake up to the fact that they are the losers in the exercise. Then maybe the rest of the world can come to its senses too. I wish.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
May 13, 2022 6:47 am

Putin has been an abomination for Ukrainians, but has educated Western Europe on their Green folly.

Within a very few years, Californians will be awaking from their wokeness on Greenism, along with homelessness, crime, paying people not to work, and so on.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
May 14, 2022 9:12 am

We have a similar experiment with a slightly different Progressive project going on right now in Sri Lanka, where they have gone completely “organic” by decree. Food production has dropped, as has tea production( their main export crop), there are riots and the PM who issued the organic decree has resigned, while mobs have burned down some of his family’s homes.

We have not reached this stage, yet…

May 12, 2022 3:47 pm

One narrative is that, as California becomes stupider, it’s created an exodus to other states to escape the stupidity.

Another narrative insists that there is no California exodus.

The truth seems to be interesting. link The number of Californians leaving hasn’t increased that much but the number of people replacing them from other states has decreased markedly.

So, why don’t people want to immigrate to California? Do people see less opportunity? That would say a lot about the economy.

Richard Florida has pointed out that the young creative class can have a big effect on a region’s economy by choosing to live there or not. It’s something like a well paying high tech business in Pittsburgh can’t get the employees it needs because they’d rather be baristas in Houston. That causes the business to move to where its employees are rather than vice versa. Something like that.

Texas vs. California is complicated. As far as I can tell, Texas is on the way up and California is on the way down.

When I was a pup, there was a huge migration of high tech businesses from the east to California, mainly because of labor laws. Then things changed and it’s been down hill ever since.

Bob Johnston
May 12, 2022 3:48 pm

I hope Cali goes for it. I’d love to move back one day and purchase a house for normal prices.

May 12, 2022 3:56 pm

California Can Reliably Hit 85% Clean Energy By 2030 Without Risking Outages – En Route To A 100% Clean Grid

I don’t see why not, so long as 70% of the population leaves California by then.

Kit P
May 12, 2022 4:13 pm

I have been calling California the ‘no’ state since my first visit back since retiring. There is an abundance of signs stating no this and that.

Add no electricity!

While I did not see any signs posted, there must be a lot that say ‘not here put them in Washington State’.

The report show a map with 3 offshore wind farms and discusses 4 MW of offshore wind.

I checked. There are 6 offshore wind turbines in the US on the east coast.

The map does not show any wind farms on land within 100 miles of the Pacific coast.

The reason Califonia is not a leader in producing electricity with wind is the people do not want it and it is easier to put it in other states.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Kit P
May 12, 2022 9:34 pm

“…. on land within 100 miles of the Pacific coast.”

I wrote a post in Nov 2018 about the wind facilities near the Columbia River of OR & WA.
They start at about 125 miles from the Pacific and extend east 100+ miles.
When the Wind Doesn’t Blow – Watts Up With That?

Also see my comment above at 2:35 pm. The interties predate the wind towers.

Reply to  John Hultquist
May 13, 2022 9:44 am

English is such a wonderful language.

I just had a mental image of a pack of predatory interties hunting for wind towers.

Alastair gray
May 12, 2022 4:21 pm

OMG! i read the whole verbose farago The intellectual garbage of it comes where they consider storage as key enabler and wiffle on about storage capacity measured in GW.
It just does not occur to these nitwits that GW are not energy units, and they make no case for how many GWhr of storage are needed or at what cost.
All in all this report is a fine addition to your environmental justice library, and compostible

Shanghai Dan
May 12, 2022 4:27 pm

“Flexible demand”

Sure, our grid here in CA is stable as can be if you can turn off parts of the load as you desire! Thank you, smart power meters allowing SCE to turn off homes as needed, to keep the grid alive!

Tom Gelsthorpe
May 12, 2022 4:36 pm

Greenies have taken a page from the Vietnam War general who said, “We had to destroy the village in order to save it.”

To wit: “We have to destroy the electric grid in order to save it.”

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Gelsthorpe
May 13, 2022 8:30 am

It was a reporter that said that, not a general.

pat michaels
May 12, 2022 4:52 pm

This California report was written by a bunch of clueless morons with zero knowledge of basic physics. Turning off Diabolo Canyon is grid suicide. I am afraid what is going to take is a terrible heat event to get their so-called minds right, and it may be this summer.

Eric is right, this is a Roman death spiral. Hopefully some of the contagion will be limited by the November election. Hopefully.

Reply to  pat michaels
May 12, 2022 8:43 pm

We Are A Nonpartisan Climate Policy Think Tank

Could we get an opinion from a group that understands electrical generation and distribution rather than a bunch of “climate policy think tankers”?

alastair gray
Reply to  ihfan
May 13, 2022 1:06 am

No they are a non-think partisan group of climate nitwits with not an ounce of physics to trouble their severely limited neurons

Chris Nisbet
May 12, 2022 4:56 pm

What’s a realistic worst case for the good people of California if the destruction goes to plan? Week-long blackouts? Crippling prices?
What sort of time would it take once somebody sensible sought to restore some sanity before their grid could be called reliable again?
As I understand it, their grid is on its knees now, but the destruction continues, so I imagine it’s going to take longer and longer to restore it.
It’s going to take more than flicking on some breakers at the border to get the power back on, isn’t it? Are we talking years, decades?

S Browne
May 12, 2022 4:59 pm

Too bad these policy consultants don’t get paid based on how their advice and predictions pan out. The policy people tell the political people exactly what they want to hear. Then they cash their checks and skip town. Good luck to the average working schmuck in California stuck with high tax bills, high prices for everything and sitting in the dark without power.

S Browne
May 12, 2022 5:06 pm

Hell, California can hit 100% renewable energy by 2030 if they put their minds to it. Meaning they don’t ‘mind’ power rationing, power outages, sky high prices, and sitting in the dark. Such a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes from knowing that their sacrifice makes not a bit of difference to the climate on a global scale.

May 12, 2022 5:24 pm

“trade with other States” – that’s the one thing that keeps their grid from total collapse.

Time to “recycle” the transmission lines from Palo Verde, say I.

May 12, 2022 5:26 pm

“… flexible demand …”. Guess what that means.

May 12, 2022 5:46 pm

3 things…
1 – their economy will crash so they don’t need much energy
2 – I have a bridge for sale in AZ
3 – I hold an exclusive patent on a perpetual motion machine…

The bridge and machine are for sale…

May 12, 2022 5:52 pm

I have to wonder if any of the Califailia government have realized that their power needs are going to be an order of magnitude higher by 2030 due to the need for desalination plants.

May 12, 2022 6:10 pm

Energy Innovation and Telos Energy:”California can Hit 85% Renewable Energy by 2030″
Jen Psaki “there are no crack pipes in the free government smoke kit”
Said one democrat to another democrat in their secret pod group.
A lie will circle the world three times before the truth can be known.

May 12, 2022 6:30 pm

The rate at which people are fleeing democrat California they may only need a dozen solar cells to power the state in 2030.

May 12, 2022 7:24 pm

Did this TELOS group actually get paid for this report?

Walter Sobchak
May 12, 2022 7:56 pm

As long as they can suck hydro out of the Northwest and Nuclear out of AZ, they will be fine.

CD in Wisconsin
May 12, 2022 8:19 pm

“An equitable clean electricity transition depends upon investing in, and creating markets for, economically viable clean energy portfolios that help retire natural gas units harming California’s most pollution-burdened communities. A just transition for impacted communities…”


Every time I see the words “equitable” and “just” being used in a discussion about a transition to wind and solar energy, an alarm bell goes off in my head telling me that I am reading a piece with the holy gospel of Marxism lying just under the surface. It’s not that I don’t want a more equitable and just society. I do, and everybody else should too.

It just that it has been said for some time now that, after the collapse of the USSR, Marxists have been using environmentalism and the CAGW scare narratives as a pretext or smokescreen in an attempt to impose their ideology on free market Western societies. If this is indeed the case, they have been being pretty persistent about it. The fall of the Soviet Union was over 30 years ago.

Blending Marxism in with the CAGW and renewable energy narratives is quite sneaky and underhanded if nothing else. Any threat to either narrative probably triggers an automatic defense mechanism in them. I guess this is why they call environmentalists watermelons (green on the outside and red on the inside).

“Workers of the world unite!”

Tom Abbott
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
May 13, 2022 8:36 am

“Every time I see the words “equitable” and “just” being used in a discussion about a transition to wind and solar energy, an alarm bell goes off in my head telling me that I am reading a piece with the holy gospel of Marxism lying just under the surface.”

Me, too. It is dividing people into groups and then pitting the groups against each other. This is how they think they can gain political power. Divide and conquer.

May 12, 2022 10:24 pm

Lets run it as a proper test. Disconnect California from all other electricity grids. And then we can see what happens with over-generation when no one needs power and not much when everyone want power, its nighttime and the wind isn’t blowing. Even better, require them to mine all their own battery materials instead of using what is the effective slavery of children in the Congo or the Uighers in China mining cobalt and other necessary minerals for batteries.

Matthew Sykes
May 12, 2022 11:14 pm

Given Lithium prices are up 500% in the last few years the impact on prices of using batteries as storage is going to be shocking.

Pumped hydro is the best energy store. And when it rains, you get energy for free.

Plus you dont need to mine half the planet….

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Matthew Sykes
May 13, 2022 8:41 am

“Given Lithium prices are up 500% in the last few years”

I think the increased prices for everything involved in “renewable” energy is going to make it even more difficult for the alarmists to implement their “renewable” energy plans. They are fighting a losing battle that is deteriorating by the day, and don’t seem to realize it yet.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Matthew Sykes
May 13, 2022 11:12 am

And the Leftist politicians won’t allow the proposed large pumped storage Eagle Crest project that would use abandoned mines and existing transmission.

Rod Evans
May 12, 2022 11:53 pm

The spiral of decline continues in the woke focused areas of the world.
Californification will become a much used description in the future, of those places who have adopted energy shortage as a policy and hence economic suicide as a known outcome.
The think tank report is long on word salad and short on engineering reality.
It is of course very possible to be 85% ‘green energy’ supply. that is easy. The tough bit is holing onto your customers or in California’s case residents.
As the complexity of unreliable energy impact ever more people, they will simply move out, they will find somewhere better. It is what humans do when conditions become too complicated or painful to comfortably carry on.
I would be intrigues to know. How often the energy supply via the interstate grids, goes from California to one of its neighbours, rather than from a neighbour state into California?
That simple observation will highlight how well California is doing. It will inform us very clearly how well its push for sustainable in state ‘Green energy’ supply is performing.
The truth will out and people will be increasingly voting with their feet.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Rod Evans
May 13, 2022 7:58 am

Not just how often but when for each. What is the inflow/outflow to/from CA at 12pm Pacific time?

Dave Fair
Reply to  Rod Evans
May 13, 2022 11:16 am

In the springtime especially, CA has excess solar that they have to dump into Mexico and Arizona for which they have to pay them to take it.

Eric Vieira
May 13, 2022 12:07 am

They’re well on their way, but for other reasons: if CA keeps losing industry at the current pace, then the whole State will only have small consumers of energy. With less industry, there’s also less jobs, which means people leave the State in droves = less consumers of energy. Both of these factors contribute to increase the possibility that renewables can fill more of the gap. But is this a “desirable scenario” for California?

May 13, 2022 2:07 am

and so it can.

Andy Wilkins
Reply to  griff
May 13, 2022 4:10 am


Reply to  griff
May 13, 2022 7:19 am

I could delete your comment and it wouldn’t make any difference……..

Reply to  griff
May 13, 2022 7:20 am

Yep and sit around the fire singing kumbaya 🙂

Mark BLR
Reply to  griff
May 13, 2022 8:42 am

and so it can.

The following completely “off topic” article caught my eye a couple of days ago, so at the risk of having the WUWT moderators come down on me like a ton of bricks …

From “Vulture Central”, about IBM’s autonomous “Mayflower” ship :

It’s not the first time the ship’s generator has failed. When the Mayflower attempted its first transatlantic voyage in 2021, engineers discovered a metal component of the ship’s generator had fractured. Diesel fuel leaked, and without its back-up source of power, it only had its solar panels for energy.

Over time, its speed dropped as its batteries depleted. The ProMare team decided to recall and fix the ship after it spent just three days at sea, and announced it’d have another crack at sailing from England to America the year after.

Now, at the risk of invoking “the wrath of the mods”, what was the subject of this article again ?

Dave Fair
Reply to  griff
May 13, 2022 11:24 am

Griff, I was an electric power system engineer and ultimately progressed to CEO/GM of an electric utility. I tell you it can’t. But I expect you will listen to PPE ( and English Lit.) graduates when it comes to electric power issues. Adherence to Leftist ideology leads to very negative results. Read some history and listen to real economic and technological experts instead of relying on dogma enforcers.

Joao Martins
May 13, 2022 3:23 am

California can Hit 85% Renewable Energy by 2030
Good luck, Californians!… Just keep going to that church and pray for it!…

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joao Martins
May 13, 2022 8:45 am

Let’s see what those Californians do in this next election. I hear even liberal Californians are grumbling about the poor condition of their government. Maybe they will make some changes. Californians do elect Republicans on occasion.

David A
Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 13, 2022 4:56 pm

Not real ones.

Andy Wilkins
May 13, 2022 3:56 am

trade with neighboring states

As the author Eric has noted, trade with neighbouring states mean fossil fuels to the rescue when Cali renewables invariably fail. Whoever from Telos Energy wrote this report is attempting to take people for fools.

Ty Hallsted
Reply to  Andy Wilkins
May 13, 2022 5:33 pm

Because they’ve learned that is not so hard to do

Andy Wilkins
May 13, 2022 3:58 am

There is a continued need for gas generation or economic imports to serve load from the summer through to winter

So they admit that renewables are useless for at least half the year. Someone needs to tell them renewables are useless all year round.

Loren C. Wilson
May 13, 2022 4:44 am

California could have 100% renewable energy today, they just wouldn’t be able to keep the power on for all customers all the time. Rolling blackouts and restricted usage would be daily. What they really need are a few more nuclear power stations along the coast that provide stable baseload during the day and run reverse osmosis water desalination units with spare capacity during the peak solar and at night. The Biden administration could facilitate this by allowing civilian companies to recycle fuel rods. Neither of these two things will happen before California’s grid collapses several times and people throw the watermelons out.

May 13, 2022 5:04 am

“The technical report provides a novel methodology

They misspelled “making shit up”

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
May 13, 2022 6:04 am

I took a (very) brief look at the full report. Essential details are scattered through several sections and I would have to dig through to pick out exactly how much new capacity of what type they plan to build. But given the new Biden Administration obstacles to permitting of anything it’s dubious they could get significant new capacity built by 2030. Unless PG&E reverses itself on Diablo Canyon nuclear (those licenses expire in 2024 and 2025 and PG&E withdrew their extension application in 2018), a fairly reliable 1.6 TWh every month goes away.

I also see the common error of specifying new battery capacity in GW instead of GWh (they plan to add 15GW of new battery storage to achieve a total capacity of 19GW — who knows what that really means).

Assumptions about increasing imports from other states need to be backed up by verifying that extra capacity exists and is available for purchase, which may not be the case if those other states also have renewable energy targets.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
May 13, 2022 8:48 am

“I also see the common error of specifying new battery capacity in GW instead of GWh (they plan to add 15GW of new battery storage to achieve a total capacity of 19GW — who knows what that really means).”

Fuzzy thinking like this doesn’t inspire much confidence in this thinktank’s conclusions. They can’t even get the fundamentals correct.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
May 13, 2022 11:29 am

Much of the “economy” energy sold to CA relies on excess hydro and wind. Not things one might rely on during summer peaks.

Mike Smith
May 13, 2022 7:01 am

They will exploit every accounting trick in the book to fudge the numbers and claim they’ve succeeded. But it will be a complete fabrication.

May 13, 2022 7:48 am

Certainly feasible… if you don’t mind lots and black outs year round.

May 13, 2022 8:25 am

 retire natural gas units harming California’s most pollution-burdened communities.”

I’ve visited every part of California and the only “pollution-burdened community” I’ve seen is the skid rows of LA and San Fran. The pollution is the by product of human suffering not human progress like generating power.

As other comments have pointed out, its not difficult to get to 85%, but anyone claiming this who doesn’t also explain how catastrophically expensive it will be is contributing to human suffering not human progress.

May 13, 2022 8:33 am

That really depends on how much bitcoin mining they do and how many fake social media accounts are grown there for over valuations.

May 13, 2022 9:44 am

Read this for a similar situation in the UK.

Despite a huge increase in electricity storage capacity in the net zero scenarios, the energy it stores is dwarfed by that of hydrogen storage. In 2050 the capacity of electricity storage (excluding V2G) in each scenario represents 1.1%, 1.3% and 0.2% of the hydrogen storage capacities in Leading the Way, Consumer Transformation and System Transformation respectively (15 TWh, 12 TWh and 51 TWh). In Steady Progression we assume that natural gas will play a similar role to today in terms of whole energy system flexibility.

In short, they have no idea how to provide enough storage to make it work… but they are going on regardless.

Dave Fair
May 13, 2022 10:04 am

In 1979 working for the Federal DOE and responsible for planning the operations of the Central Valley Project I was just one of many experts that warned the California Legislature, PUC and Energy Commission that their laws and policies would lead to system collapse within about 20 years. In 2000 the system collapsed as predicted.

Following 2000 the collapse, they were all warned by experts that the laws and polices enacted in response to the collapse would lead to another, different system collapse within about 20 years. The collapse is now obviously coming to pass in 2022 and beyond. FJB and FLeftist politicians.

May 13, 2022 10:41 am

85% intermittent, unreliable energy… throw another baby on the barbie, it’s over.

May 13, 2022 11:01 am

Possible maybe, at what price, how much cost are those batteries apiece, how many will be needed, is that including the increase in generation for all electric cars and houses. If surrounding states decide to go green
Who will they trade with. Sounds like a expensive proposition.

Robert of Texas
May 13, 2022 11:27 am

So… California has decided to de-industrialize? This is not new. In another 10 years or so they will finally be as bad off as average Mexico, and illegals immigrants won’t want to the move there anymore.

Paul Penrose
May 13, 2022 12:01 pm

I don’t think California consumers will like “flexible demand”, i.e. we can turn off your electricity whenever we want. Or course there will be exceptions for “VIPs” like politicians and rich people that donate to the “correct” campaigns.

May 13, 2022 7:46 pm

I think it’s time Congress considered revoking California statehood and relegating it to territory status until the residents elect sane, law-abiding, pro-American leaders who then turn the state around. California has literally become a failed state and it’s harming the rest of the country. Decades of incompetence and pandering to fools and criminals should have severe, unambiguous consequences.

May 13, 2022 8:17 pm

The prophet Jonah went to Nineveh, the sprawling capital of the Assyrian Empire, and urged the people to repent of their selfish and misguided ways. He was very skeptical that they would listen, but amazingly, the people and even the king repented, wore sack cloth and ashes, and averted destruction at the hands of the Almighty.

Lots and lots of people can see the coming economic collapse in California, but it will be at the hands of Californians. I fear that they won’t come to their senses until millions have suffered great hardship, and even then I fear that many will refuse to renounce their “green gods.”

Jim G.
May 13, 2022 9:41 pm

“Flexible Demand.”
Your usage is only flexible if they can shut your power off.
Which of course, they can.

May 13, 2022 10:40 pm

 California can reliably achieve an 85% clean electricity grid by 2030 with a diverse mix of renewables and batteries, flexible demand,

That’s demand curtailment for you folks if voluntary conservation doesn’t pan out-
Texas grid operator calls for power conservation as temperatures, prices soar (

Patrick MJD
May 13, 2022 11:26 pm

It’s election year here in Australia and all political parties are calling for “net zero carbon emissions” and 100% renewables by 2030 all the while we export millions of tonnes of coal and gas. The stupidity continues.

Kevin kilty
May 14, 2022 5:24 am

And they deserve to hit it good and hard.

May 14, 2022 11:38 am

What, are they going to grow more trees? Nothing else is renewable.

Jeff Reppun
May 14, 2022 10:25 pm

I wonder what communities will suffer from the loss of jobs and tax base in order to satisfy these “Social Justice Warriors”?

Jeff Reppun
May 14, 2022 10:34 pm

Scanned the report and although they imply some cost analysis, I could not find any mention of how much this will cost Californians.

Verified by MonsterInsights