By David Kligman
PG&E continued its commitment this past year to sharply reduce carbon emissions, something the energy company has long touted and in keeping with California’s clean energy goals.
In 2016, PG&E laid the groundwork for more electric vehicle charging stations and expanded customers’ options for solar power, among many successes.
“We remain steadfast in our commitment to California’s clean energy goals, more inspired than ever by the urgency of that work, and optimistic about our ability to make a difference,” Geisha Williams, PG&E president, Electric, said in a recent opinion column.
She added that California has set clear targets regarding clean energy and carbon emissions, which PG&E supports and is working hard to meet.
These are just some of PG&E’s many clean energy and environmental highlights:
- In February, PG&E launched its Solar Choice program, extending the option for 100 percent solar power to customers who are not planning to install rooftop solar panels. Customers can purchase half or all of their electric power from solar energy locally sourced in Northern and Central California. In December, Hercules in Contra Costa County became the first city to adopt the program.
- Reflecting California’s changing energy landscape, PG&E in June announced a joint proposal with labor and leading environmental organizations to increase investment in energy efficiency, renewables and storage beyond current state mandates while phasing out PG&E’s production of nuclear power in California by 2025. The proposal includes a PG&E commitment to a 55 percent renewable energy target in 2031, an unprecedented voluntary commitment by a major U.S. energy company.
- PG&E, along with a coalition involving automobile manufacturers, the Sierra Club and clean energy groups, proposed a build-out of charging infrastructure to help spur adoption of electric vehicles in the state. Recently, the California Public Utilities Commission approved PG&E’s plan to partner with EV charging companies to install 7,500 charging stations across Northern and Central California.
- Newsweek ranked PG&E as the nation’s greenest energy company in one of the most recognized global measures of corporate environmental performance. PG&E placed 15 overall and first among electric and natural gas utilities in the 2016 Newsweek Green Rankings of the 500-largest publicly traded companies in the United States.
- In November, an 18-acre wetland was re-flooded in Monterey County as part of a partnership between PG&E, the Monterey County Water Resources Agency and environmental groups. The restored wetland will provide an ecosystem that will be able to naturally clean 80,000 gallons of surface water for the community every day.
- In a major effort to restore the iconic California condor population, the National Park Foundation announced in November that it is teaming with PG&E, the National Park Service and the Yurok Tribe to build a facility and monitoring program that will allow condors to be released into Yurok ancestral territory in far Northern California. The partnership is just one of the many examples of PG&E’s commitment to wildlife.
Email David Kligman at David.Kligman@pge.com.