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Advocacy Update, September 2020
It has been a busy month with some significant announcements. Governor Newsom has made it very clear that he is serious about addressing climate change. During a recent TV interview regarding the current wildfires in California, he stated that the recent wildfires fires are direct and tangible evidence of climate change. He also said that we need to step up our decarbonization efforts statewide to reduce our impact on the environment. There is no question that leadership in California is "all-in" on decarbonization.
Here are two announcements that define our path forward and demonstrate the state's commitment to mitigate our impact on the environment.
Newsome signs executive order banning gas cars and trucks.
On Sept. 23, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order banning gas and diesel cars in California by 2035. To many, this seems like a drastic step. We support this decision and applaud the governor for taking the lead on electrifying cars and trucks. Transportation is responsible for 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in California. The electrification of the transportation sector is a critical first step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We are not alone in this effort. Several nations have adopted similar and more aggressive bans on internal combustion vehicles.
CPUC addresses adding clean energy to the electric grid
On Sept. 29,2020, the California Public Utilities Commission made sweeping changes to rule 21, which dictates how distributed energy resources (DERs) connect to the electric grid. Distributed energy resources are small-scale units of local generation connected to the grid at the distribution level.
Perhaps the most significant aspect is incorporating data to control how the DERs integrate with the grid. The new changes will support a two-way flow of information. The improved data flow will control how and when to add DERs to the grid. The changes are a huge step forward as it allows the integration of DERs based on location and time, which vastly increases their benefit. Smart integration of DERs will improve CAISO's ability to manage loads using carbon-free resources. Additionally, the changes will increase the value of zero-carbon energy and its role in electrical generation.