Region sees 35% reduction in energy-related emissions and delivers on clean energy commitment
Sunnyvale, Calif. – Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) was founded by its member communities to reduce emissions by procuring electricity generated from renewable and carbon-free sources. To monitor progress towards its carbon reduction goals, the agency annually tracks greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from energy-related sources, including electricity generation and building and transportation energy use.
In the most recent 2020 measurement, regional energy-related GHG emissions have declined 35% from the 2015 baseline year. This exceeds the agency-adopted 2021 target to reduce emissions 30% by 2021. A key reason for the substantial reduction was reduced regional transportation emissions, due to the 2020 stay-at-home orders enacted to keep the community safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
As shown in the chart above, electricity-related emissions are a small portion of total emissions, and has steadily decreased over the years, with a significant reduction from 2017 to 2018 when SVCE completed enrollment of all customers. The SVCE Decarbonization Programs Roadmap and resulting Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Plan and Building Decarbonization Joint Action plan have defined strategies and programs for how the agency works with its member communities to reduce emissions from transportation and buildings.
“The recent United Nations IPCC report says that we can no longer avoid the effects of a changing climate due to human-caused fossil fuel emissions, but we can try and prevent the worst outcomes with solutions that exist today,” said Margaret Abe-Koga, SVCE board chair and City of Mountain View councilmember. “Silicon Valley Clean Energy is advancing innovative initiatives and customer programs to lower carbon emissions across sectors and sharing what we learn with other communities so we may scale solutions and work together on our shared climate goals.”
SVCE is continuing to deliver on its community mission of procuring electricity from clean sources. This month, SVCE customers are receiving their annual Power Content Label, which provides a breakdown of the generation sources that make up their electricity mix. The annual communication is required by the California Energy Commission, and this year, for the first time, it includes the GHG emissions carbon intensity associated with electricity providers’ power supply.
The SVCE GreenStart product is sourced from renewables and carbon-free energy sources, with seven pounds of carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions per megawatt-hour (MWh). GreenPrime, the voluntary 100 percent renewable offer, has zero emissions. By comparison, the California grid mix has an average of 466 lbs. of CO2 per MWh. The emissions associated with the SVCE power supply are from renewable biomass and geothermal, which have some emissions, as well as from some out-of-state energy imports.
SVCE is continuing to increase the supply of clean energy on the grid and has invested $1.6 billion for renewable energy projects. Several of these projects are under construction today, and all contracts total more than 700 megawatts (MW) of capacity and nearly 175 MW of battery capacity. By 2024, when all projects are delivering power to SVCE, more than 60 percent of the agency’s energy supply will come from renewables, which is more than 10 years ahead of the SB 100 mandate, which requires 60 percent renewable and 100 percent clean energy by 2045.
To learn more about the renewable energy projects contracted by SVCE, visit the new power sources webpage at svcleanenergy.org/power-sources.
About Silicon Valley Clean Energy
Silicon Valley Clean Energy is a not-for-profit, community-owned agency providing clean electricity from renewable and carbon-free sources to more than 270,000 residential and commercial customers in 13 Santa Clara County jurisdictions. As a public agency, net revenues are returned to the community to keep rates competitive and promote clean energy programs. Silicon Valley Clean Energy is advancing innovative solutions to fight climate change by decarbonizing the grid, transportation, and buildings. Learn more at SVCleanEnergy.org.
Pamela Leonard, Communications Manager