Clean and renewable resources have seen gradual leaps and bounds throughout the years, with historic growth over the past decade. In March, Spring brought about new record levels of renewable energy demand, with the California Independent System Operator (ISO) reporting 56.7 percent peak percentage of demand via Twitter (of that massive sum, 60 percent was based in solar energy).
California has become a benchmark in the green energy movement, breaking records throughout the first quarter of 2017. February witnessed a previously unheard of daily total peak percentage of demand for solar energy, generating nearly 8,800 megawatts of solar power fueled by the grid.
Such high levels of renewable energy demand in Winter and Spring months only makes these feats more impressive, solar energy being less available than in Summer months. The trend toward acceptance and embrace of renewable energy resources is vital to the current California target of reaching 50 percent clean energy production by 2030.
Establishing new record highs promise that the state will succeed in its mission without difficulty. However, counter to these hopeful signals, data suggests that overall power production in non-peak hours is far greater than in peak hours when the sun is not present. The ultimate goal of reaching 100% clean energy production will require consumers, utility companies, and legislatures to work together and continue pushing for clean energy initiatives.
Currently, a proposed bill is finding its way through the California legislature requiring utility companies to source at minimum 40 percent of peak demand energy from clean sources by 2027. The bill has the intention of forcing industry innovators and utility companies to devise a method of storing solar energy, while simultaneously promoting energy conservation and use reduction during peak hours.
With the state firmly advocating for reducing energy consumption and carbon gas emission while driving technology, more than an increase in renewable energy demand will be required. It is essential that utility grids determine how to function without backup from fossil fuels. One such suggestion is battery backup.
Opponents of these initiatives believe that the market should be allowed to determine these methods, without being forced to store solar energy or use batteries – unproven solutions to combat climate change. While the best route to complete independence from coal and other fossil fuels remains up in the air, California continues to rapidly break records and appears fully engaged in continuing the sprint toward modernization.