Renewable Energy Drives California Emissions Reductions

California’s 5% reduction in greenhouse gases in 2016 is almost entirely due to the replacement of fossil fuel generation with renewable energy.

It has become an article of faith by many proponents of the nuclear industry that the move to renewable energy has not resulted in significant greenhouse gas reductions. But as widely printed as this claim is, it is still incorrect. As PV magazine has reported before, increasing deployment of wind and solar has been driving lower use of natural gas, which represents that vast majority of fossil fuel use in the electricity sector. Additionally wet weather in 2016 meant very high levels of hydroelectric generation, together meaning that California was able to meet nearly a third of electricity demand with in-state renewables over the first nine months of the year. These trends have increased in 2017, given the extremely wet weather in the winter.

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