LA Going Fully Green

The city of angels plans to fly closer to the sun to completely eliminate fossil fuels from its power supply.

Los Angeles is still burning coal for electricity. But thanks to a first-of-its-kind study commissioned by the city and released last week, LA now has a road map on how to become one of the country’s first major cities to completely eliminate fossil fuels from its power supply.


The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) analysis determined that LA is capable of achieving 98 percent clean energy within the next decade and 100 percent by 2035. And it can do this without causing blackouts or disrupting the economy, a conclusion that undercuts two common arguments used by opponents of climate action.


The NREL says the path for the next decade is clear: Build solar farms, wind turbines and batteries as fast as possible. Get solar panels on rooftops, electric cars in garages and electric heat pumps in homes. And invest in energy efficiency and "demand response" programs that pay people to use electricity during times of day when solar and wind power are plentiful.


It's significant to note that all the paths to 100 percent clean energy studied by NREL would be capable of keeping the lights on every hour of the year, even when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow for days at a time, or a wildfire takes down a major transmission line. That would be in stark contrast to past power grid difficulties in California, when there were rolling blackouts during a heat wave, and in Texas, when there were multi-day power outages during February's cold snap.