Questions Californians have asked with answers made public. Please read the questions below and if you don't see your question answered, please ask a question yourself.
In California, citizens have a right to vote to directly change the law or constitution of our state. Our legislature has had before it bills that would have transitioned California to Clean, Renewable Energy. These bills have been watered down because of the stranglehold that special interests have on the legislative process. We are California citizens, scientists, engineers, business people and lawyers. We are giving Californians the ability to decide for ourselves whether we want clean air and energy for our future generations. We have created a technically- and economically-feasible pathway toward a sustainable, secure, and reliable energy infrastructure that eliminates health and environmental problems due to air, water, and soil pollution and climate change. The plans, if implemented, will result in long-term energy stability, energy price stability, human and environmental health, job growth, and energy security.
Entire countries are already on their way their way to getting 100% clean, renewable energy. 55 countries, including Canada, get over 50% of their energy from clean, renewable sources. We have the ability and the technology to do this. This Proposition draws on peer-reviewed studies Standford scientists' detailed plans on how to make our clean, renewable energy goal a reality. We just need to stand up, where our legislature has not been able to, against big fossil fuel companies that are blocking profess to make this a priority in our state.
In the process, we can create 45,000 full-time jobs in our state, make the air in our cities and valleys breathable and reduce illnesses related to air pollution, like heart disease, asthma, respiratory illness and cancer. We may not think every day about the costs of burning fossil fuels to our health, our communities and our future. With your yes vote on this Proposition, in one step, we can clean our air, lower to cost of our electricity, become more competitive and more healthy.
It is hard to be healthy when the air we breathe and the water we drink is polluted by dirty energy sources. By transitioning to clean, renewable energy sources we will not only sharply reduce the carbon, sulfur and mercury pollution that come from burning coal, but also eliminate the real risks of oil spills and contamination of our groundwater. Doctors and scientists say this will save the lives of 12,500 Californians a year and dramatically reduce the rates of heart disease, respiratory ailments and even cancer associated with air pollution.
This Proposition will result in a health-cost savings of approximately $130 billion per year in California due to reduced air pollution mortality and morbidity: fewer cases of chronic bronchitis, heart disease, asthma, hospitalization, emergency-room visits, lost school days, and lost work days. In addition, it will result in improved visibility and agricultural and forest productivity. These health and environmental cost savings, which take the form of lower medical costs, insurance costs, workman’s compensation rates, and taxes, represent about 5.3% of the California’ gross state product in 2015 of $2.45 trillion.
Clean, renewable energy is fast becoming the cheapest way to produce energy. While government subsidies originally helped clean, renewable energy get a foothold in global power markets the true driver of falling prices is economies of scale; the more clean, renewable energy is produced, the less expensive it becomes. Think of how expensive it used to be to buy personal computers. Now you carry that is more powerful than the earlier models in your pocket. Clean, renewable energy will increasingly dominate because they are technologies, not a fuel, and as their efficiency increases their prices fall. Our reliance on outdated energy sources results in waste that costs American families and business over $100 billion a year. Meanwhile, the prices of fossil fuels are volatile and increasing, but prices for wind and solar have fallen 25% in the last two years. Even the fossil fuel heavyweights, like Saudi Arabia, are spending billions of dollars to build clean, renewal energy generation so they can export the fossil fuels to leave more oil for export. They believe they can make more money selling us oil than the clean, renewable energy technology costs them. So by implement clean, renewable energy technology ourselves we will save money.
In fact, scientists at Stanford University have estimated that a commitment to energy efficiency and the transition to 100% clean, renewable energy will save the average California family $160 dollars per year in energy costs and another $2,500 per year in health care costs.
There was a time that cigarette companies sold their products as healthy. And now it is the fossil fuel companies are slowly degrading our health and our air while selling us their products. The big fossil fuel companies will try to get in our way. The have done so by convincing the legislature what is in our best interest.
At the same time as we are transitioning to clean, renewable energy in the way we make electricity, this Proposition encourages the availability for sale of more energy efficient products. This ranges from your toaster oven to your car, from air conditioning and heating in your home to big trucks on the road. This will cause us to consume less energy and bring down our electric bills. There will also be a component of subsidy to assist primarily low-income households to help in any costs of the transition. Those who would like to join the clean, renewable energy industry in California will find their training or retraining subsidized to help with the increase in the workforce we will need.
Wind turbines, concentrated solar power (CSP) plants, solar photovoltaic (PV) plants and rooftop systems, solar hot water heater systems, geothermal power plants, a few additional hydroelectric power plants, and a small amount of tidal and wave power. And any additional new clean, renewable technologies that are developed over time. These technologies are referred to as wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) electric power technologies. The selection of these technologies took into account a combination of 11 criteria: carbon-dioxide equivalent emissions; air-pollution mortality and morbidity; resource abundance; footprint on the ground; spacing required; water consumption; effects on wildlife; thermal pollution; water chemical pollution/radioactive waste; energy supply disruption; and, normal operating reliability.
Over time we will transition to Zero Emissions Vehicles, Battery Electric Vehicles, Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles, and hybrid BEV-HFCVs. Hydrogen in all cases will be produced by electrolysis, where the electricity will originate from WWS electric power technologies. Long-distance trucks and buses will be hybrid BEV-HFCVs, pure HFCVs, or pure BEVs as battery swapping or additional supercharging stations become available. The Proposition has provisions that deal with creation of infrastructure for battery swapping and supercharging stations.
Over time we will transition to electricity-powered air-source and ground-source heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps, and backup electric resistance heaters will replace natural gas and oil for home heating and air conditioning Air-source heat pump water heaters powered by electricity and solar hot water pre-heaters will provide hot water for homes.
Over time we will transition to creating high-temperatures for industrial processes from electricity and hydrogen combustion, where the hydrogen is obtained from electricity.
Energy efficiency is an important component of this Proposition. We implement the following energy-efficiency options: retrofitting and weatherizing homes with better insulation to reduce energy losses, improving the energy-out / energy-in efficiency of end uses with more efficient lighting and appliances (e.g. refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers) and the use of heat) exchange and filtration systems, encouraging the use of public transit and telecommuting instead of driving, large-scale planning to reduce energy demand without compromising economic activity or comfort, and designing future city infrastructure to facilitate greater use of clean-energy transport, and designing new buildings to use solar energy better, among others. The quantities of new energy generators proposed assume minimal energy efficiency to be conservative. Thus, the more that energy efficiency measures are implemented, the fewer the new energy generators needed.
Upon passage of the Proposition all new electric power generators will be clean, renewable energy generators and that existing conventional generator will be phased out overtime, with 80-85% conversion by 2030 and 100% conversion by 2045.
This plan will generate 45,000 permanent jobs for the operation of new clean renewable electric-power generating facilities alone. Many of the permanent jobs created will replace existing jobs in the fossil-fuel industry. People who are displaced are entitled to subsidized retraining to work in the clean renewable energy sector. We expect the number of permanent jobs created will exceed the number of lost jobs because nearly all energy for California will be produced within California in all sectors (electricity, transportation, heating/cooling, industry). Currently, significant quantities of fossil fuels are shipped in from outside California, so jobs are lost overseas or to other states. In addition, the solar energy sector, for example, employs a significant number of workers per unit energy generate compared with fossil energy sources.
The cost of fossil fuel electricity has been rising gradually over time because much of the cost is due to mining, transport, and refining of the fossil fuels, which occur continuously over the lifetime of the fossil-fuel electric power facility. As the cost of living increases, the cost of producing and moving the fossil fuels from the ground to the energy facility increases. Clean, renewable energy technologies, on the other hand, have zero fuel cost. As such, the price of electricity from them stays relatively constant. For example, from 2003-2013, the 10 States with the highest fraction of their electric power generation from wind saw only a 3 cent/kWh increase in electricity prices versus 4 cents/kWh in all other states, including 17 cents/kWh in Hawaii. Although the initial cost to build clean, renewable electric power sources is often higher than that of fossil fuel sources, but the zero fuel cost stabilizes prices of clean, renewable energy generators, resulting in lower long-term costs to clean, renewable energy generators compared with fossil fuel generators. This factor suggests that clean, renewable energy technologies will ultimately replace conventional fuels on their own, although policies, like those of this Proposition, are needed to speed up the transition to obtain complete replacement by 2045.
The additional footprint on land for the clean, renewable electric power devices proposed over California is equivalent to about 0.90% of California's land area, mostly for Concentrated Solar Power and Photo-voltaic. This compares with the current footprint of agriculture in California of 43%. An additional a portion of the on-land spacing area will be required for on-shore wind, but this area can be used for multiple purposes, such as open space, agricultural land, farmland, or grazing land, for example.
Nuclear energy is not included in the Proposition because it results in 9-25 times more carbon and air pollution than does wind energy per unit energy produced, partly due to the fossil energy used to mine and refine uranium continuously during the plant’s life, partly due to the construction of the plant, and partly due to the fact that the time between planning and operation of a new nuclear facility is 10-19 years, whereas that of the proposed technologies (wind, water, and sunlight) is much less, generally 2-5 years for wind and solar, resulting in even more opportunity-cost emissions from the background fossil-fuel energy sector during the period that nuclear is waiting to come online. In addition, nuclear poses catastrophic risks due to the historic worldwide relationship between nuclear energy facilities and nuclear weapons proliferation and due to nuclear reactor accidents. Further, in the United States, radioactive waste currently accumulates at nuclear energy facilities, and no plan exists to store that waste permanently.
Biofuels crops require energy to grow, fertilize (for some crops), irrigate, cultivate, transport to energy production plants, and liquid biofuels require additional energy to transport to their end use locations. Because biofuels are combusted, they release similar conventional air pollutants as fossil fuels. We do not propose to use liquid biofuels for transportation since combustion is 4-5 times less efficient than electric power for transportation. As such the effective cost of a liquid biofuel is 4-5 times that of the electric power to move an electric car the same distance. This results in lower fuel costs for an electric vehicle (about $0.80/gallon equivalent) than a biofuel vehicle (~$4/gallon). For example, if a person uses an electric car for 15 years, driving 15,000 miles per year, that person will save ~$20,000 in fuel costs during this period relative to a biofuel or gasoline car. If the price of electricity and fuel both double, the driver will save $40,000 during the same period. In addition, the land required to power a fleet of flex-fuel vehicles on corn or cellulosic ethanol is about 30 times the spacing area and a million times the footprint on the ground required for wind turbines to power an equivalent fleet of electric cars. Ethanol combustion, regardless of the source, also increases slightly the air pollution mortality relative to gasoline due to the aldehyde and unburned ethanol emissions from ethanol fuel combustion and the air pollution from the upstream production of ethanol and biodiesel fuel increase health-affecting air pollutants more than do gasoline or diesel. Finally, carbon emissions from cellulosic ethanol for flex-fuel vehicles are about 125 times those from wind energy powering electric vehicles without considering world price changes due to using land for fuel instead of food.
Natural gas is a fossil fuel and is not included because it results in 60-80 times more carbon and air pollution than does wind energy per unit energy input, results in much greater land degradation and water pollution, particularly through hydro-fracking, and is not a long-term sustainable solution The methane emissions from natural gas are of significant concern because of methane’s powerful global warming impact. Instead of reducing methane, natural gas mining and production increases it, posing a greater danger to the Arctic sea ice greater than most other pollutants. In addition, electricity generated from fossil fuels such as natural gas is subject to fuel price volatility.
To ensure that the clean, renewable energy supply will match demand and to smooth out the variability of these clean, renewable energy resources, several strategies will be deployed, including: (1) combining clean, renewable energy resources as a bundled set of resources rather than separate resources and using hydroelectric power plus stored concentrated solar power, to balance much of the remaining load; (2) interconnecting geographically dispersed variable clean, renewable energy resources (e.g., solar, wind, wave) to smooth out the variability of these resources; (3) using demand-response management to shift times of demand to better match the availability of clean, renewable energy, (4) over-sizing clean, renewable energy peak generation capacity to minimize the times when available clean, renewable energy is less than demand and provide power to produce district heat for cities and hydrogen for transportation when clean, renewable energy exceeds demand, (5) storing energy at the site of generation or use, (6) storing energy in electric-vehicle batteries, and (7) integrating weather forecasts into system operation.