In-Depth New Analyses on the Use of Renewable Energy for Power System Operations

January 17, 2014

Managing Principal Susan Tierney recently participated in one of the most in-depth analytical exercises ever conducted to explore the implications of much deeper use of renewable energy for power system operations. This study, "Investigating a Higher Renewables Portfolio Standard in California" (January 2014) was sponsored by the five major public and private electric utilities in California, conducted by E3 Consultants, and overseen by an independent advisory panel, of which Dr. Tierney was a member. 

The sponsoring utilities -- Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, and Southern California Edison -- wanted a detailed study of the operational, cost, and environmental implications of scenarios in which California moved to a 40 percent or 50 percent renewable energy requirement by 2030. E3 modeled the electric system under various scenarios.  

As part of the independent advisory panel, Dr. Tierney wrote "Maintaining electric reliability is technically achievable, assuming a substantial set of assumptions are realized concurrent with the expanded use of renewable resources, given what was studied."

Read the E3 study, the advisory panel's report, and the California utilities' statement