Ambitious renewable energy goals are vitally important in a changing energy landscape. However, if states and utilities want to ditch fossil fuels, they must enact plausible, specific plans and policies that allow them to meet end-goal renewable targets and make the renewable transition process easier and more affordable. According to a new Wärtsilä study, fast-start, flexible gas plants can help utilities meet rigorous carbon reduction targets, maintain grid reliability and minimize costs. To learn more, read “Ditching fossil fuels once and for all.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Flexible gas plants are designed to burn natural gas today and convert to renewable fuels produced using power-to-methane (PtM) in the future.
  • The methane produced from PtM can directly interface with all existing natural gas storage and distribution systems, assuring that flexible thermal assets installed today will never become a stranded asset later on.
  • As an example, another Wärtsilä analysis suggests California can reach its current renewable targets by 2040 (five years ahead of schedule), reach full net-zero carbon by 2045 and save around $8 billion in the process by implementing PtG and other policies.

Path to 100% Perspective:

The path to 100 percent renewables is three-fold. First, stakeholders must retire all inflexible, legacy fossil plants — not extend their timelines. Then, utilities must replace these inflexible power plants with the latest generation of flexible thermal plants. Finally, legislators must remove any policy barriers that would prevent renewable methane or similar fuels from helping the transition to a clean-energy future. The path to a 100 percent clean-energy future is long and complex, but these strategies can help communities finally ditch fossil fuel once and for all.