The California 2016 Power Content Label
It’s amazing how exciting you can find a little insert in your electricity bill. This September’s SC Edison Power Content Label contain’s California’s 2016 power content mix, which I can compare to last year’s. It also contains the SC Edison 2016 power content mix, which I can compare to the SCE 2015 label. I can also calculate the pounds of CO2 generated by kWh. On the other side is the SCE Green Rate 100% option and the SCE Green Rate 50% option, which I can compare to normal Power content by sources and pounds of CO2 generated. What isn’t included is the price, and how pricing levels depend on use, of the Green plans.
We start with analyzing the California power mix for 2016, which is an improvement from 2015 in almost all categories. We start with the CO2 polluting part, where natural gas is decreased from 44% to 37%. Also, coal is decreased from 6% to 4%. Coal plants give 2.21 pounds of CO2 per kWh. Natural gas plants give 0.922 pounds of CO2 per kWh. So the California 2016 mix gives 2.21 X 0.04 + 0.922 X 0.37 = 0.09 + 0.34 = 0.43 pounds of CO2 per kWh. The previous year mix gives 2.21 X 0.06 + 0.922 X 0.44 = 0.13 + 0.41 = 0.54 pounds of CO2 per kWh. So CO2 emissions are reduced by roughly 20%. Unspecified sources increased slightly from 14% to 15%, but were so close that we left their unknown mix out of the comparison.
The amount of California renewables increased from 22% to 25%. Wind increased from 8% to 9%, Solar from 6% to 8%, small hydro increased from 1% to 2%, Geothermal stayed the same at 4%, and Biomass & Waste decreased from 3% to 2%. Nuclear stayed the same at 9%, and Large Hydro dramatically jumped from 5% to 10% as the state gained plenty of rainfall to take us out of the drought.