In a report released by CARB this week (8/12), the agency said that GHG emissions from California’s electricity sector in 2017 dropped 9% below 2016 levels, but overall emissions in the state fell only 1%.
The decrease in electricity emissions was offset by rising emissions from the State’s transportation sector, which is the largest source of carbon gases in the State. That is according to the California Air Resources Board’s latest statewide GHG Inventory Report released on August 12, 2019.
Solar, wind, small hydro and nuclear power produced 52% of the State’s electricity (in state and imported) two years ago. As a result, carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity sector in 2017 were 6 million metric tons below 2016 levels.
According to the CARB report, in-State solar energy resources grew 26% between 2016 and 2017. Solar and wind power made up 26% of the State’s power in 2017.
In a statement, CARB Chair Mary Nichols said:
“This is further evidence that California’s groundbreaking climate regulations are helping to deliver the greenhouse gas reductions needed to meet our 2020 target–and give us a running start at our even more ambitious 2030 target, too.”
Greenhouse gas producing activities statewide in 2017 created 424 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. That is 5 million tons below 2016 levels, states the CARB’s 2000-2017 Greenhouse Gas Inventory.
The emissions decrease in California occurred while the economy grew 3.6 percent. To this Governor Newsom said:
“California is proving that smart climate policies are good for our economy and good for the planet.”
According to the report, the big problem is the rising GHG emissions from the transportation sector. Transportation emissions were fairly constant from 2002 through 2007, but then jumped by 9 million tons, a 6% increase, from 2013-2017. This jump is likely to put further pressure on the energy sector and in particular, the oil industry.