Publication Detail

A Roadmap for Repowering California for all Purposes with Wind, Water, and Sunlight

UCD-ITS-RP-14-38

Reprint

Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS)

Available online at: DOI: 10.1016/j.energy.2014.06.099

Suggested Citation:
Jacobson, Mark Z., Mark A. Delucchi, Anthony Ingraffea, Robert Howarth (2014) A Roadmap for Repowering California for all Purposes with Wind, Water, and Sunlight. Energy in press, 1 - 15

This study presents a roadmap for converting California's all-purpose (electricity, transportation, heating/ cooling, and industry) energy infrastructure to one derived entirely from wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) generating electricity and electrolytic hydrogen. California's available WWS resources are first evaluated. A mix of WWS generators is then proposed to match projected 2050 electric power demand after all sectors have been electrified. The plan contemplates all new energy from WWS by 2020, 80-85% of existing energy converted by 2030, and 100% by 2050. Electrification plus modest efficiency measures may reduce California's end-use power demand ~44% and stabilize energy prices since WWS fuel costs are zero. Several methods discussed should help generation to match demand. A complete conversion in California by 2050 is estimated to create ~220,000 more 40-year jobs than lost, eliminate ~12,500 (3800-23,200) state air-pollution premature mortalities/yr, avoid $103 (31-232) billion/yr in health costs, representing 4.9 (1.5-11.2)% of California's 2012 gross domestic product, and reduce California's 2050 global climate cost contribution by $48 billion/yr. The California air-pollution health plus global climate cost benefits from eliminating California emissions could equal the $1.1 trillion installation cost of 603 GW of new power needed for a 100% all-purpose WWS system within ~7 (4-14) years.