Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant Retirement is Huge Opportunity for California Renewables

Statement by Laura Wisland, Senior Energy Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Jun 16, 2016

OAKLAND, Calif. (June 21, 2016)—Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) commitment to replace all of the electricity supplied by Diablo Canyon with a combination of zero-carbon resources, once the nuclear plant is taken offline, should ensure that the state will not backslide on its greenhouse gas reduction goals as a result of the company’s decision to not relicense the plant. In 2014, generation from the plant made up 21 percent of PG&E’s power mix. The plant, located near Avila Beach, in San Luis Obispo County, is the last remaining nuclear power plant still operating in California. Generation from the plant supplied about 6 percent of California’s power needs in 2014.

Below is a statement by Laura Wisland, a senior energy analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

 “It’s great news that PG&E will replace the lost electricity generation from Diablo Canyon with a portfolio of zero-carbon resources, including energy efficiency, renewables, demand response and energy storage. PG&E is already on track to reach 33 percent renewables by 2020 and 50 percent by 2030. This decision to invest in additional zero-carbon resources to replace Diablo’s generation helps ensure that the retirement of Diablo is managed to not contribute to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions, and further solidifies PG&E’s reputation as a world-class leader in clean energy investments.”