California regulators today adopted plans by the state’s three major utilities to accelerate the electrification of light, medium and heavy duty transportation. The California Public Utilities Commission approved $780 million to fund these plans aimed at cleaning up the transportation sector, the state’s biggest source of air pollution.
The revised decision includes key changes from the original proposal: It preserves an optional dynamic electricity rate that rewards customers who charge their electric cars when clean energy is abundant and helps grid operators more accurately balance supply and demand, according to a statement from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), which added that this measure may help California use its renewable resources more efficiently. In addition, it increases the amount of funding allocated for Southern California Edison’s electrification program, which is important for the utility to improve persistent air quality concerns, EDF says. The increase will also go towards expanding rebate opportunities for charging stations, making them more affordable.
The newly approved plans “set the stage for cleaning up the state’s dirtiest sector while ensuring the communities who suffer most from choking exhaust feel the benefits,” says Larissa Koehler, senior attorney with California Clean Energy.
California has a goal of 5 million ZEVs on the roads by 2030 and 250,000 electric vehicle charging stations by 2025. The California Public Utilities Commission says the state’s transportation emissions are 37% of statewide greenhouse gas emissions, 83% of statewide NOx emissions and 95% of statewide diesel emissions.
More California Regulatory Changes
In other recent regulatory news coming from the Golden State, California Energy Commission voted unanimously in early May to update the state’s building code to require rooftop solar panels on all new apartment building and condo construction starting in 2020.
The move is part of a larger goal in the state to reduce emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.
New condos and apartments up to three stories high being built will be required to have solar PV systems. Shaded and taller buildings that can’t accommodate rooftop systems will be eligible for exceptions or alternatives.
Contractors in San Diego area estimate the code change will add about $20,000 to construction costs, depending on the size of the home, the San Diego Tribune reported.
The updated codes are likely help boost energy storage in the state, according to GreenTech Media.