Angelina Galiteva, the vice chair of the California Independent System Operator, joins Energy Insiders to discuss how the world’s fifth biggest economy intends to reach 100 per cent renewable energy target by 2045, a target that is now written in law.
Galiteva, who has been on the board of the ISO, the equivalent of Australia’s AEMO, for eight years, says there was huge resistance from many in the industry to high levels of renewables, but once it became clear the technologies were at hand, the target was quickly lifted to 50 per cent and beyond, and finally to 100 per cent.
The key is sourcing cheap power through wind and solar, and combining this with fast, and flexible technology, as well as upgrading transmission lines. This also means a focus on demand response, pumped hydro (she would actually like more), and batteries, which are beating gas despite the low cost of gas in the US.
Because of the need for flexibility, reliability and low cost, coal is exiting and so too is nuclear, which Galiteva says is proving to be horrendously expensive and unreliable. She also talks of the shift to distributed energy – one in three households now installs a battery as well as solar, and every new home requires solar. Soon, every new building will too. And there is the shift to electric vehicles, which will also provide a critical resource for the grid, and lower emissions in the transport sector.