- Southern California Edison has developed a plan in a new white paper to help California meet its ambitious climate and air quality goals by electrifying the state's transportation, and water and space heating sectors, while also utilizing more carbon-free energy.
- The approach "builds upon existing state programs," the utility said, to help reduce the state's greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 1990 levels in the next 12 years and 80% by 2050. However, the approach could require a 2% annual increase in power prices.
- The proposal calls for a doubling California's use of carbon-free electricity, from 40% today to 80% by 2030, in part by rolling out more energy storage projects.
With milestones ties to California's climate and conservation goals just more than a decade away, SCE has proposed an integrated framework that calls for decarbonizing three key sectors by building on state initiatives already in place.
Pedro Pizarro, president and CEO of Edison International, the parent company of SCE, said in a statement that the utility wants to lead the "transformation of the electric industry to better serve our customers, protect the environment and improve public health.”
“Climate change and air pollution are serious threats that will require the state to transform the way energy is produced and used,” Pizarro said.
SCE"s "Clean Power and Electrification Pathway" paper calls for doubling the use of carbon-free electricity, from 40% to 80% by by 2030, supported by energy storage, by increasing the use of large-scale renewables along with distributed solar. The plan also doubles energy efficiency usage by 2030.
SCE also wants to help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, including passenger cars and medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, to more than 7 million by 2030. The utility says the transportation sector is the largest source of GHG emissions and local air quality problems, with 40% of the goods entering the nation moving through the region’s ports and highways.
“It is critical that we work toward providing measurable reductions in air pollution that causes health problems and disproportionately affects communities that are located near transportation corridors with heavy freight movement,” Pizarro said.
SCE is urging development of additional charging infrastructure and continued financial incentives for EV adoption, particularly for low- and middle-income communities. And the utility wants to see increasing electrification of commercial and residential space and water heating.
The utility said its plan indicates that the electrification of nearly a third of residential and commercial space and water heaters, combined with continued improvements in energy efficiency in buildings, could reduce GHG emissions significantly.
SCE President Ron Nichols said the new plan "provides a blueprint to achieve the company’s and the state’s air quality and climate policy goals."
In addition to reducing GHG emissions, the state wants to reduce nitrogen oxides and other pollutants in areas of the state with the highest levels of air pollution by 2032.