Stakeholder-Driven Effort to Ensure Comprehensive, Equitable and Just Transition to 100% Renewable and Carbon-Free Energy for Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES (June 23, 2021) —Following the release of the ground-breaking Los Angeles 100% Renewable Energy Study (LA100), the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) will launch a comprehensive and inclusive, community-driven effort to achieve a just and equitable 100% carbon-free future for all communities of Los Angeles.
Completed in March 2021 by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the LA100 study identified multiple paths for LADWP to achieve a 100% renewable and carbon-free grid as early as 2035. On Tuesday, June 22, the Board of Water and Power Commissioners moved forward with a new phase of the study, LA100 Equity Strategies, designed to incorporate research and analysis to achieve specific, community-driven and equitable outcomes from the clean energy transition.
“While LA100 found that we can achieve 100% renewable energy and a carbon-free grid, and do so reliably, we recognized the need for legitimate and substantive engagement with our communities and stakeholders if we are to lead the state and nation on decarbonization and create a model that other utilities can replicate,” said Board President Cynthia McClain-Hill. “LA100 Equity Strategies is a critical next step on the path to 100% renewables, with the goal of lifting up all Angelenos so that everyone will share in the benefits of clean energy.”
The Board authorized NREL to lead LA100 Equity Strategies in close cooperation with the Luskin Center for Innovation at UCLA. NREL will incorporate the analysis and findings of LA100 into the new study, and determine ways to achieve specific outcomes that will be identified through a robust stakeholder engagement process. “Every neighborhood of Los Angeles is unique, and this will be a neighborhood-level, community-driven process,” McClain-Hill said. “Beginning with the very first stage, LA100 Equity Strategies will bring together environmental justice communities and stakeholders to identify and prioritize what outcomes they would like the study to analyze.”
Expected to launch July 1, the groundbreaking study will examine a set of community-driven goals, which could include:
- Access to energy customer programs and distributed energy resources
- Local neighborhood power grid upgrades
- Assistance to renters to participate in solar, energy efficiency, and electrification programs
- Reduced environmental impacts of end-of-life of technologies, such as batteries
- Increased public charging to promote access to electric vehicles
- Improved air quality through renewable-resource derived fuels
- Affordable rates and utility debt relief
- Clean air, including for those located near power facilities
- Impacts to housing and transportation
LA100 Equity Strategies is an outgrowth of one of LA100’s key findings: that all communities will share in the benefits of the clean energy transition, but improving equity in participation and outcomes would require intentionally designed policies and programs. “That’s exactly what we hope to achieve through LA100 Equity Strategies,” McLain-Hill said.
The study also stems from community input received during LA100 outreach meetings, led by NREL and LADWP earlier this year. “People wanted to know how we would address equity and environmental justice during the transition to clean energy,” LADWP General Manager and Chief Engineer Martin L. Adams said. “There were a lot of concerns about who would benefit from the clean energy transformation, over-burdening low-income customers, and ensuring disadvantaged communities benefit from reduced pollution, energy efficiency and other clean energy benefits.”
Historical data measured through LADWP’s equity metrics initiative have shown disparities in low-income and underserved communities in participation in customer-focused clean energy programs such as customer rooftop solar, electric vehicle and charging station rebates, smart thermostat rebates, and other programs designed to help customers save energy and money.
“As LADWP expands these programs and adds many more, we must ensure that customers who are impacted by poor air quality, and have the least ability to afford higher electric bills, are able to benefit from the clean energy transformation,” Adams said.
The LA100 study was a three-year, first-of-its-kind rigorous and science-based study to analyze pathways the community could take to achieve a 100% clean energy future. Stemming from several City Council motions in 2016 and 2017, the study analyzed more than 100 million ultra-high-resolution simulations to evaluate a range of future scenarios for how LADWP’s power system could evolve to 100% renewables while maintaining its current high degree of reliability.
Since the release of the LA100 study, Mayor Eric Garcetti and LADWP officials announced an accelerated goal of achieving a 100% carbon-free power grid by 2035, and interim milestones of 80% renewable energy and 97% carbon-free by 2030. LA100 Equity Strategies is one of the critical next steps toward meeting those goals, which were presented by LADWP staff to the Board of Water and Power Commissioners on May 11, 2021.
Learn more about LADWP’s LA100 next steps.