Increases in Energy Storage will Help Achieve Greenhouse Gas Emissions Goals
California has become known for leading the nation time and time again across industries through innovative legislation. I have prided myself on introducing legislation that continues this great tradition and allows our state to continue to serve as an example for the rest of our nation. Recently, California has been best known for enacting environmental policies that recommit our state to creating a better world for future generations to inhabit.
In keeping with this great tradition, I introduced legislation to deploy more clean-energy storage technologies in California. The measure, AB 2868, will require the California Public Utilities Commission to approve programs and investments that provide distributed energy storage systems to industrial, commercial and low-income customers.
While our solar and wind energy markets have exploded, we have failed to keep up with meeting storage needs, causing continued reliance on coal and other heavy pollutants. Creating more storage is an easy fix that will significantly benefit our environment well into the future. All of the solar energy in the world means nothing if it can’t be stored when the sun isn’t shining, and all of the wind energy in the world means nothing if it can’t be stored when the wind isn’t blowing.
As renewable energy technologies like solar and wind become more prevalent, local, customer-side storage solutions provide an opportunity to capture excess energy and store it for use until night time, allowing customers to rely less on fossil fuels. Storage technologies also provide an opportunity to shift energy demand from on-peak to off-peak times. Widespread deployment of energy storage technology not only increases the reliability of California’s grid, but it increases the utility of renewable energy and reduces residents’ electricity bills.
We set greenhouse gas emission goals for ourselves, and we need to be actively working to reach them. This fix is simple and necessary to make sure our children and grandchildren can breathe non-polluted air and to reach our emission goals.
Mike Gatto is the chairman of the Utilities & Commerce Committee and the longest-serving current member of the State Assembly. He represents California’s 43rd Assembly District, which includes La Crescenta, Los Angeles, Glendale and Burbank. www.asm.ca.gov/gatto