Now, onto the California climate agenda
Politico California Playbook AM
By Lara Korte, Jeremy B. White and Sakura Cannestra
The tension between grid reliability and clean energy will be the subject of a hearing this morning in the Senate Subcommittee on Clean Energy Future, chaired by Sen. Josh Becker (D-Menlo Park). The subcommittee will hear from energy and clean power experts, including the California Independent System Operator, as it looks for an “initial policy toolkit of renewable solutions to maintain grid reliability.”
GRID FUTURE REMAINS SHAKY — The Capitol is abuzz with talk of new spending to fight climate change, but the outlook was grim at a Senate subcommittee hearing this morning. Despite the state’s efforts to bring more energy projects online, it is projected to fall short of rising energy demand in the coming years, Mark Rothleder, Chief Operating Officer at the California Independent System Operator, told committee members.
The electrical grid, already producing 1,700 megawatts below its ideal capacity, could fall 1,800-2,000 megawatts short of California’s needs by 2025, Rothleder said. That forecast comes as the state prepares to close the Diablo Canyon Power Plant — a nuclear facility that provides nearly a tenth of California’s power — along with several gas-powered plants, and as lawmakers negotiate how to allocate an additional $3.8 billion in energy spending before the end of the month.
The state is working to phase out fossil fuels. But climate change has heightened power demand, with heat waves and drought causing more stress on the grid sooner than officials anticipated. And renewable energy projects have been delayed by supply chain issues. — Lara Korte