Innovative Technologies for a Low Carbon Electricity System

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The electricity sector represents the centerpiece of decarbonization pathways for the state of California. Decrease in the cost of renewable electricity generation, combined with ample solar energy, wind and other renewable resources, presents a realistic way to achieve electricity generation that is nearly free of CO2 emissions by mid-century. Expansion of renewable electricity supply could allow replacement of many CO2-emitting technologies with ones that use electricity—in transportation, buildings, and possibly industry. Key elements of the path for California’s electricity sector are: Restrain electricity demand through higher efficiency, rapidly expand renewable electricity generation, develop electricity storage to complement renewable electricity, manage flexible electricity loads for a low-carbon electricity system, electrify where appropriate to reduce CO2 emissions, and maintain reliable and resilient electricity supply.

This report provides an overview of a multitude of innovative technologies in each of the above areas that have the potential to help the state meet its decarbonization goals while lowering costs and promoting greater reliability. The information presented provides a portrait of the landscape of technology innovation that can help policymakers, state agencies, and interested parties develop strategies to meet the state’s goals and to target efforts to support and nurture technology innovation.

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