Commercial, Distributed Generation, Industrial, Regulation, Sourcing Renewables  -  January 11, 2016

Chamber of Commerce backs San Diego's 100% renewable energy goal

San Diego is trying to figure out how it will meet the goal of powering all homes and businesses with renewable energy by 2035. Though the target is a challenge, it appears that many of the city’s businesses support the idea.

"The environment and the economy are not things that are at odds with each other," Sean Karafin, executive director of policy and economic research at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce recently told KPBS-FM, a noncommercial public radio station licensed to San Diego State University. "A thriving business environment is one in which the quality of life is high so we can attract the best and brightest talent from around the nation and around the world."

Advances in technology and policy are two of the main components to a successful solution. Regarding the latter, there is a debate about whether community choice aggregation is the best way to go.

"Under the current system, [San Diego Gas and Electric] purchases energy for all of the residents and businesses in San Diego. Under community choice, the city would make those purchasing decisions, giving it more control over where its energy comes from, the cost and how much clean energy is in the mix,” according to KPBS. The city is studying the community choice option and expects to make a decision sometime in the next two to three years. 

Technology in the form of energy storage is also a challenge that must be overcome before the city can reasonably expect to receive 100% renewable power. It is estimated that grid-scale energy storage costs will need to be reduced by about five times from current levels before becoming economic.

San Diego Gas and Electric is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy. 

 

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