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The Right Stuff: Newsom’s Clean Energy Act doesn’t add up

By Roger Oberbeck: published November 21, 2022 California’s Clean Energy, Jobs and Affordability Act of 2022, with a commitment of $54 billion to establish 90% clean energy by 2035 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, has these goals:

• Cut air pollution by 60%. • Reduce state oil consumption by 91%. • Reduce fossil fuel use in buildings and transportation by 92%. • Cut refinery pollution by 94%, Are these goals attainable? No. Here are the data. Senate Bill 1020 establishes clean electricity targets of 90% by 2035, 95% by 2040 and 100% by 2045. California used 277.7 gigawatt hours (GWH) of electricity in 2021. (One GWH would power 1.15 million California houses annually). Of that total, 35% was non-carbon producing energy, (i.e., nuclear, hydroelectric, wind and solar), but one-third (11% of the total) of that quantity was imported from neighbor states. California must increase its non-carbon emitting electricity production by 181.8 GWH by 2045.

Gov. Gavin Newsom plans on having 20 gigawatt rated capacity of offshore wind turbines by 2045. This will require 6,667 3 megawatt wind turbines which will produce 52,209 gigawatt hours of electricity. Assuming California’s energy use will remain constant, California must increase zero carbon-emission electricity production by 129,591 GWH, which will require an additional 50 GWH of annual electricity generation, i.e., an additional 16,667 3-megawatt, or 5,000 10-megawatt wind turbines.[ more]

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