SACRAMENTO CA— The American Wind Energy Association of California (AWEA-California) released this statement today on behalf of Director Danielle Osborn Mills, following this week’s rotating power outages in California.
“California’s goal is to shift to 100% clean energy over the next 25 years while providing electricity safely, reliably, and affordably. Renewable energy has demonstrated for more than a decade that it can and will be able to meet all of these targets. But our renewable system in California and across the West is not sufficiently built out, and was designed around a different set of resources. As a result, the State needs to refocus its planning and procurement processes to enable utility-scale wind, solar, and storage to provide reliable power to California before retiring our aging conventional fleet.
“Right now, California has a renewable energy system that is heavily reliant on the sun, and solar resources are performing exactly as it should: Solar power can produce huge amounts of energy, but the State needs a better plan for providing clean energy in that evening period when the sun sets.”
“Wind energy has proven to be a reliable complement to solar and other renewables: The wind is always blowing somewhere—in California, throughout the West, and offshore. And we’ve seen this week that there is still plenty of wind power available in New Mexico, Wyoming, and other states, provided we have the transmission in place to bring this power online when we need it.”
“Offshore wind is an innovative renewable solution, capable of providing vast quantities of renewable energy right when the sun goes down. California is fortunate on this front, with enough potential off our coast to power more than a third of the state’s peak energy use during the heat wave this week. It is time to jumpstart the planning that will be needed to make offshore wind a reality.”
“Our state’s power system requires significantly more diversity: Right now California relies heavily on solar, storage, and gas—and during this week’s blackouts, there is once again a push for more storage, microgrids, and other alternatives to back these systems up. State leaders must recognize that we need more renewables of all kinds to keep the lights on.”