OPINION: Powering California's future: What role does natural gas play as we move toward nearly GHG-free electricity?

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Utility Dive

The following is a viewpoint from Commissioner Liane M. Randolph, California Public Utilities Commission.

California has the most aggressive greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals in the nation. But the state also has more than 30,000 MW of existing natural gas-powered capacity that is part of our electricity grid. As we transition away from fossil fuels to GHG-free resources, what is the role of that gas fleet? My Commissioner colleagues and I are examining that question now as we work to determine how California can deploy the existing fleet to help the state transition to a clean energy future, and at the same time seek to reduce the impacts of such plants on disadvantaged communities.

California's first glimpse of the power supply of the future arrived on August 1, when the 44 load-serving entities under the California Public Utilities Commission's jurisdiction filed their first-ever long-range plans optimized for greenhouse gas emissions reductions, reliability, and cost. Each one islooking to demonstrate how its new and existing energy resources will meet California's 2030 greenhouse gas reduction goals for the electric sector.

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It is critical that we openly discuss all opportunities and options for achieving San Diego’s climate action goals. The choices we make today in implementing this bold policy vision will shape San Diego and the lives of its residents for generations to come, so we need to make sure we get this right. 

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