Countdown to 2045: Realizing California's Pathway to Net Zero
For California to achieve its updated decarbonization goals by 2045 and meet electricity demand projected to rise by 80%, we need bold actions.
THE COUNTDOWN IS ON
Creating an electrified economy, powered by clean generation and enabled by unprecedented buildout of the electric grid, requires state agencies and utilities to think differently. This means changes for how California's entire energy infrastructure is planned and operated.
Countdown to 2045: Realizing California's Pathway to Net Zero updates and expands Southern California Edison's 2019 analysis, Pathway 2045. A key driver for this updated analysis is AB 1279, which made the state's carbon-neutral goal into law in 2022 and established a deeper requirement for direct GHG reductions. The paper identifies feasibility challenges to affordably meet state goals and calls for policy changes and technology developments to address them.
California must keep exploring options, including greater use of emerging technologies such as carbon capture, to find even more feasible and affordable approaches in reaching carbon neutrality. These investments will create opportunities for economic growth, along with reducing air pollution and climate risks. Similar transformation is needed worldwide to reduce global GHG emissions at a scale that will meaningfully slow climate change.
COUNTDOWN TO 2045 WHITE PAPER
Edison’s updated analysis of the bold steps needed to enable massive electrification growth and expand the grid.
COUNTDOWN TO 2045 FACT SHEET
One-page overview of the most feasible and affordable solutions to meet California’s ambitious net-zero goal.
Since Pathway 2045 was published, changing conditions from policy updates, market and technology developments, expected climate change impacts and electric sector reliability analysis have accelerated the projected electrification growth necessary to achieve net zero.
Leveraging proven technologies to the extent possible to present an optimized 2045 solution while complying with current state laws, Countdown to 2045 anticipates that overall electricity demand will nearly double over the next two decades.
Since the transportation sector is the largest source of emissions in the U.S. and responsible for nearly half of emissions in California, leveraging proven zero-emission technology for passenger and commercial vehicles is essential to achieving carbon neutrality in the state.
The building sector is critical to meeting California's decarbonization goals, as nearly all space and water heating in residential and commercial buildings must become electric.
Although electric bills will increase, savings from reduced or eliminated fossil fuel expenses will more than offset the increase for households that adopt electrified technologies. Relative to what the average SCE customer household pays today for electricity, gasoline and natural gas, combined energy expenses will decrease by about 40% by 2045.
HOW WE GET THERE
System planning must be reimagined by state agencies and utilities for greater speed, efficiency, integration and flexibility.
EMERGING GENERATION TECHNOLOGY
Emerging generation technology needs near-term investment to enable longer-term emission reductions.
TRANSMISSION INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT
Transmission infrastructure development needs process and regulatory reforms to accelerate.
DISTRIBUTION GRID EVOLUTION
Distribution grid evolution is required for utilities to serve electrification load and fully utilize local energy resources.
CREATING A CLEAN ENERGY FUTURE
ADAPTING FOR TOMORROW
Edison's call to action for utilities, governments and communities to invest now in a climate-resilient electric grid and other critical infrastructure, based on findings from SCE’s Climate Adaptation Vulnerability Assessment.
MIND THE GAP
Edison’s analysis of the policy changes and additions needed to ensure that California meets its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030 — a reduction that is essential if the state is to achieve its ultimate goal of a decarbonized economy by 2045.
REIMAGINING THE GRID
SCE’s vision of the future electric grid — to enable efficient integration of clean resources, support customer adoption of new technologies and ensure climate adaptation and resilience.
SCE’s 2019 data-driven analysis of the steps that California must take to meet the 2045 goals to clean our electric grid and reach carbon neutrality.