California, one of the world’s largest economies and a pioneer of climate action and clean technology, generated 95% of its electricity demand from renewable energy sources for a brief time last month, according to the California Independent System Operator.
According to supply data from California Independent System Operator (ISO), renewable energy sources dominated California’s power supply throughout the day of Saturday, April 24, and just before 2.30pm local time reached a share of 95 per cent renewables as natural gas and imports plummeted.
California actually began exporting electricity to other states – and, according to Sammy Roth at the LA Times, this was due to a surge in solar generation.
The caveats that need to be noted include the fact that California’s main power grid covers four-fifths of the state, and does not cover Los Angeles, Sacramento, and several other regions.
It was also heavily reliant upon daylight solar generation, which surges as the Northern Hemisphere moves through Spring and into Summer.
And while the 95% record lasted for only a brief moment, renewable energy nevertheless maintained a strong 90% supply through the afternoon.
“This is an incredible accomplishment for the state, a major milestone, and a confidence-builder on our way to a fully decarbonized power grid,” said Elliot Mainzer, President & CEO of California ISO, in a Tweet to his account.
“This shows we can get a lot of renewable generation online and make a real dent in the state’s carbon emissions.”
Similarly, in a quote given to the LA Times, Mainzer explained that the record “sends chills down my spine. It’s amazing.”
“These types of transitions aren’t always pretty,” Mainzer added. “But we’re getting a lot of renewable generation online, making a real dent in the state’s carbon emissions.”
Also worth noting is that California’s renewable energy figures obviously do not include the role of the state’s Diablo Canyon nuclear plant which, if included in figures for April 24, yields over 100% of the state’s electricity coming from zero-carbon sources.