Environmental Information for Energy Planning - Docket # 17-MISC-03
Senate Bill 32 (Pavley, Chapter 249, Statutes of 2016) amended the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 by establishing a statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) limit equivalent to a 40 percent decrease from 1990 levels by 2030. The Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act (De León, Chapter 547, Statutes of 2015) increases California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) from 33 to 50 percent and requires a doubling of energy efficiency of existing buildings by 2030. Achieving the GHG limits and RPS by 2030 will require changes across California’s entire energy system, including the electricity system, which will need to continue decarbonizing rapidly while reliably meeting future electricity needs.
As described in the 2016 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) Update and the final Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative (RETI) 2.0 Plenary Report, reaching the GHG and RPS goals will require additional renewable energy development, which could affect a variety of environmental resources. Further, the 2016 IEPR and previous IEPRs describe how landscape-scale planning can facilitate the development of renewable energy and transmission to meet the state’s goals by considering a wide range of potential constraints and conflicts to minimize potential environmental impacts.
Through the first and second RETIs, Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), and the stakeholder-led San Joaquin Valley Identification of Least-Conflict Lands study, federal and state agencies, local governments, tribes, and stakeholders have gained experience with a variety of landscape-scale planning approaches that seek to identify suitable areas for renewable energy development. These planning efforts demonstrate different approaches to using science-based tools and spatial data for renewable energy and transmission planning.
The Energy Commission staff report, Environmental and Land Use Information to Support the RETI 2.0 Process, also includes specific recommendations to refine and update existing environmental and land use information and data, and improve existing spatial support tools developed in collaboration with the Conservation Biology Institute (CBI).
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