San Diego Gas and Electric Improves Its Clean Energy Mix
We compare the Power Content Labels for SDG&E for 2016 with the previous year 2015. Since there are only five energy sources, we do it by comparison, rather than using a table.
Mostly, SDG&E increased its clean Solar and Wind energy, and decreased its Natural Gas. Under Renewables, Solar increased from 18% to 21%, Wind increased from 15% to 21%, and Biomass and Waste shrunk from 2% to 1%. So total Renewables increased 8% from 35% to 43%.
There was no Coal, Hydro, or Nuclear either year, so the total of Clean Energy is just the Renewables, increasing from 35% to 43%.
At the same time, Natural Gas decreased by 12%, from 54% to 42%. However, the out-of-state power from Unspecified increased 4% from 11% to 15%. We were instructed to consider this as likely Natural Gas. So the total Natural Gas may only have dropped 8%, from 65% to 57%.
In summary, the 8% increase in Clean Renewables was achieved to allow Natural Gas to drop by 8%. This is amazing progress in one year, in response to the 100% clean energy goal of San Diego.
California has a Renewable Portfolio Standard goal of 33% of power by Renewables by 2020. So SDG&E had already reached that in 2015 at 35%, and even exceeds it more now at 43%. The goal for the RPS is 50% for 2030, and SDG&E is over half way there from the 2020 goal.
In 2016, SDG&E established an EcoChoice mix, which is actually 100% Solar power. Unless they use solar thermal to also provide solar derived power at night, the extra revenue in this plan is just used to buy more Solar power, and to invest in more solar power stations. We look forward to seeing how this improves their Solar power sector in future years. Although there is no way to pump only solar power to the participants, the extra Solar power helps the planet no matter whom it goes to. I’m told the extra cost is about $4 per month.
There is a Community Choice Aggregator (CCA) proposal to buy cleaner power for San Diego, but using the same grid and billing units. The city is considering it, and also just using the EcoChoice plan for the cleaner power. A decision is expected by 2021.