On December 18, 2020, the non-profit organization Geothermal Rising submitted comments to the California Energy Commission on the draft SB 100 report, advocating for the continued development of geothermal resources in California in pursuit of their 2045 goals.
California is currently one of the most proactive places in the world in terms of pursuing and implementing renewable energy alternatives. The California Energy Commission is the state’s primary energy policy and planning agency committed to reducing energy costs and the environmental impacts of energy use. The Renewable Energy Commission’s Senate Bill (SB) 100 mandates that renewable energy and zero-carbon resources supply 100% of electric retail sales to end-use customers by December 31, 2045.
Currently, the renewable energy landscape in California focuses largely on solar generation, utilizing other alternatives such as hydro, wind and geothermal to a lesser extent. According to GR, the current draft of the SB 100 Report “does acknowledge the increasing role that geothermal energy can play in meeting [California’s] ambitious goals”.
In their December 18 response to the Draft 2021 SB 100 Report, GR further highlights the long-term diversity benefits and growth potential of geothermal in California.
According to the report, “The development of new geothermal capacity has slowed as solar, wind and battery storage have experienced significant cost reductions.” However, in this setting, they argue, “Fuel secure, carbon-free geothermal power can provide the resource diversity, grid reliability, and system resilience that other renewables, even with batteries, cannot.”
As one of the world’s renewable energy leaders, it is extremely positive to see advocacy and support for the continued proliferation of geothermal in the state of California. The capacity of modern geothermal technology to produce scalable, dispatchable energy in response to system needs without facing intermittency issues truly positions geothermal as the missing piece in the renewable energy conversation.