A California constitutional amendment would allow nuclear power to qualify as a renewable energy source under the state's Renewables Portfolio Standard.
Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham introduced ACA 18, which he says would create fairness in the renewable energy market.
Currently, California’s climate change laws do not allow all types of carbon emission-free sources of power to be counted towards emissions goals, the press release stated.
"Instead, state law effectively picks and chooses winners and losers in the renewable energy marketplace. It does so by excluding certain types of emission-free power sources, like nuclear and large-scale hydro projects, from its Renewables Portfolio Standard," the office of the assemblyman stated.
“Basic principles of fairness demand that we count all carbon-free power — including nuclear and large hydro — towards our climate goals. Furthermore, it will be extremely difficult if not impossible for the state to meet its 2030 and 2045 climate goals without counting nuclear and large hydro,” Cunningham stated. “Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, the only operational nuclear plant in California, currently produces nine percent of the state’s power without any carbon emissions — but it is slated for closure in 2025. Without Diablo’s power production, there is no viable path to a statewide carbon-free energy grid.
“If we are serious about combating climate change, and we should be, both nuclear power and large hydropower must play an important role in our transition to an emission-free energy grid. Future generations – and present ratepayers – deserve nothing less than an ‘all-of-the-above’ approach to fighting climate change.”
By counting nuclear energy as part of the state's climate goals, the amendment could potentially Diablo Canyon stay operational past the 2025 closure date.