Modeling the Impacts of Deep Decarbonization in California and the Western US: Focus on the Transportation and Electricity Sectors
Book chapter, 2018
Decarbonization scenarios for California and other Western states of United States to 2030 and 2050 show a number of relatively robust trends, including significant adoption of plug-in electric vehicles and investments in large quantities of renewable wind and solar generation. These two developments in disparate sectors (electricity and transportation) are linked via the use of electricity in the transportation sector. By expanding the existing California TIMES (CA-TIMES) model and including the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) electricity region into this model, we explore the impact of California’s policies on the Western Electricity Coordinating Council grid. Our analysis shows that a climate target on California only and not on the other states could contribute to the greening of power plants in the Western States, driven by the possibility to export electricity to California. When a carbon target is extended to all regions, the grid of all Western States, as well as the entire energy system of California, there cannot be zero emissions without adopting carbon capture and storage.