Building a Climate Change Resilient Electricity System for Meeting California's Energy and Environmental Goals
Developing scenarios that offer a glimpse into California's future electricity system.
The project was completed in 2018 and provided an understanding of the specific effects of climate change on the electricity system by 2050 and the resulting ability of the system to satisfy California's GHG reduction target. Because the baseline energy scenario did not account for climate change and fell short of the GHG target, the project team explored a set of energy technologies and resource management strategies to determine if they could offset the shortfall. The project generated a more realistic energy scenario for achieving the 2050 GHG target at the lowest cost. This project was conducted in collaboration with two related studies led by Energy and Environmental Economics (EPC-14-069) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (EPC-14-072), and results of these three studies have been presented to policy makers and legislative staff. Three journal papers were published.View Final Report
The project used climate change simulations to model conditions that disrupt electricity system generation, renewable capacity potential, and demand for the years of 2030, 2040, and 2050. The combined effect of these impacts was then simulated on the electricity system using an integrated electric grid modeling platform to determine the shortfall in achieving California's greenhouse gas emissions goals. The project then analyzed the potential benefits of additional mitigation strategies, such as additional energy storage, on reducing emissions.
The study provides a clearer understanding of the importance of water resources in supporting a low-carbon energy system. The effects of water availability on hydropower, solar thermal, and geothermal affect grid services.
The project includes analyses of robust energy systems, which can be simulated to inform which set of technologies in which places are the most resilient to climate change, and therefore more energy secure.