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EFI California Energy Study Identifies CCUS as Major Contributor

May 3, 2019

The Energy Futures Initiative (EFI), a not-for-profit think tank dedicated to driving innovation in energy technology, policy, and business models, published the full findings of a study outlining how the state of California can maintain its global leadership in forging a low-carbon energy economy.

The study, Optionality, Flexibility & Innovation: Pathways for Deep Decarbonization in California, examines 33 clean energy pathways and technology options that California policymakers must consider as it plans and executes an unprecedented transformation of its energy system.

It identifies CCUS as a major contributor in reducing industrial emissions and from the electricity sector.

California has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent or more below 1990 levels by 2050, with an ambitious interim target of 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. The high-level outcome of the study is that California can indeed meet its aggressive 2030 and mid-century targets.

However, doing so will require success across multiple sectors of the economy, with multiple technologies contributing to each. Meeting the goals and managing costs will require a strong focus on innovation and maximum optionality.

"To get to 80 percent cuts and beyond, breakthrough innovation will be needed," said Alex Kizer, EFI's Director of Strategic Research. "At the same time, the innovation pathways must minimize the disruptions to the state's existing energy sector and find ways to accelerate the development of clean energy technologies, which potentially can provide hundreds of thousands more new jobs."

EFI explored two separate but overlapping policy streams: a pathway to achieve the 2030 intermediate decarbonization goal as well a major effort to achieve deep decarbonization by mid-century, in line with California's 2018 SB 100 legislation, which mandates net-zero emissions in Electricity by 2045. The 2030 pathways are established by sector: Agriculture, Buildings, Electricity, Industry, and Transportation.

It further identifies key policies and technologies that currently contribute to the state's ability to meet its 2030 goals and where technology innovation and policies need support. It also sets forth an innovation-centered approach to meeting the 2050 goal.

The study identified multiple technological innovations domains that need to be aggressively pursued in order to successfully meet deep decarbonization targets, including:

• Renewable Generation Technologies

• Energy Efficiency

• Hydrogen

• Carbon Management (Direct Air Capture & CCUS)

• Advanced Storage

• Renewable Natural Gas/Biogas

• Electrification & Fuel Switching

• Smart Systems & Other Platform Technologies

(Carbon Capture Journal)

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