resource adequacy


Mark Specht/UCS

ELCC Explained: the Critical Renewable Energy Concept You’ve Never Heard Of

, Energy analyst

To completely transition away from fossil fuels, we’ll need to replace not only the energy from fossil-fueled plants, but the capacity and grid reliability contributions as well. However, it’s actually pretty tricky to determine the extent to which renewable capacity ensures grid reliability. This has grid operators across the nation asking, “To what extent can we count on renewables to ensure grid reliability by preventing electricity shortfalls? And what is the best methodology to answer that question?” Great questions. This blog has answers. Read more >

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Gas plant in California with pipeline in foreground

Why Can’t California Shake Its Natural Gas Habit?

, Energy analyst

California is a national leader in clean energy generation, but to fully transition away from fossil fuels in the electric sector, the state will need to expand its focus beyond energy and start taking a hard look at capacity.

California has a resource adequacy program, which ensures that the state has enough electricity generating capacity at the ready to keep the grid reliable year-round. Up until now, the data about the types of resources (natural gas plants, solar, energy storage, etc.) being used to satisfy those reliability requirements has not been publicly available. But at the urging of UCS and other organizations, that information is now being made public.

So now the numbers are in, and they paint a startling picture of California’s continued reliance on natural gas. After taking you through the numbers, I’ll talk about some of the solutions we already have and the ones we might still need.

Sit down, folks. This will take your (energy nerd) breath away.

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John Ciccarelli, BLM.
California Energy Commission
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Photo: Henning Witzel

What is Resource Adequacy? Three Requirements that Keep the Lights on in California

, Energy analyst

In many parts of the United States, power plant owners can get paid for doing pretty much nothing. You might think that power plant owners make all their money selling the electricity they generate. However, many power plant owners also get paid for providing “capacity,” or the ability to generate electricity. These types of payments are playing an increasingly large role in keeping fossil-fueled power plants operational, and finding cleaner alternatives is going to be a big challenge. Read more >

Photo: Henning Witzel
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