Electrification in California


To learn of California's decarbonization plans in order to confirm whether the state will see a 40-50% rise in electricity load as a result of electric vehicle adoption.

Early Findings

Increase in Electric Load

  • Southern California Edison plans 100% decarbonization by 2045. The decarbonization will be achieved through the 100% carbon-free electricity retail sales, electrification of vehicles, and "using low-carbon fuels for technologies that are not viable for electrification".
  • The electrification (and population growth) will result in an increase in the sale of electricity by 60% and "a 40% increase in peak load".
  • Vehicle electrification will result in an increase in "electric load by nearly 130 terawatt hours (TWh) — representing more than one-third of the grid-served load".

Renewable Energy Adoption

  • In order to achieve 100% clean energy generation, over "80 GW of additional utility-scale clean generation and 30 GW of utility-scale energy storage will be needed".
  • This would require investments to the tune of $170 billion in renewable energy. That means rate of development of renewable energy infrastructure will need to be two to three times the current rate.

Degree of Electrification

  • Natural gas consumption will decline by 50% by 2045 and "at least 40% of" it will "need to be low-carbon fuels such as biomethane or hydrogen".
  • Three in four light-duty vehicles, two in three medium-duty vehicles, and one in three heavy-duty vehicles will need to be electrified by 2045.
  • Seventy-five percent of "space and water heating needs" will be electrified by 2045.

GHG Emission Reductions

  • Greenhouse gas emission will be reduced from 424 MMT in 2017 to 260MMT in 2030 (60% decarbonization target) and 108 MMT in 2045, all of which will be sequestered, thereby achieving 100% decarbonization. A total reduction of 316 MMT (424 MMT - 108 MMT).
  • The GHG emission of vehicles will be reduced from 174 MMT in 2017 to 107 MMT in 2030 and 30 MMT in 2045. A reduction of 144 MMT--45.6% of all GHG emissions--through electrification of vehicles.

Additional Information

  • Nearly half (49.14%) the vehicles in Norway are plug-in electric type.
  • North America accounts for 70% of the 30 million tons of carbon emissions captured globally. Currently, industrial facilities capture under 1% of the "CO2 that is required to meet the Paris agreement targets for 2040".

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