About Carbon Free California
Carbon Free California is funded by California-based entrepreneurs and brings together leaders from business, labor and the technology sector to focus on creating a pathway to a carbon-free future and securing the clean, reliable energy needed to power the world’s fifth-largest economy. Carbon Free California believes the state must pursue all forms of emission-free energy to address the climate crisis and achieve our urgent emission reduction goals. Extending the operation of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant will bolster the grid with reliable carbon-free energy and enable the state to transition to increasing shares of wind and solar power, while avoiding disruptive and costly rolling blackouts. Carbon Free California receives no funding from utility or nuclear industry interests.
The Effort to Save Diablo Canyon
The Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant is California’s largest producer of clean, carbon-free energy and the last source of nuclear power generation in the state. If closed as scheduled in 2025, it will threaten the state’s climate leadership and ability to meet its ambitious clean-energy goals.
California has made significant progress toward the transition to a zero-carbon economy. All new cars sold in the state must be emission-free by 2035. Electricity must be carbon-free by 2045. Still, climate change continues to advance with disastrous consequences, from record heat and drought to raging wildfires, lethal flooding and rising sea levels.
Today, Diablo Canyon accounts for 15 percent of California’s carbon-free electricity production, and 8 percent of overall electricity output. Without it, California will be forced to increase its reliance on polluting gas-fired peaker plants.
A recent independently funded joint study by researchers at MIT and Stanford University reassessed Diablo Canyon’s potential in helping California meet the challenges of climate change. What’s needed, they found, is a combination of energy generation from renewables and other sources of clean power. California needs both Diablo Canyon and renewable sources like solar and wind power.
The study also found that Diablo Canyon could in the future operate as a polygeneration facility, producing desalinated water and clean hydrogen at a lower cost than alternatives.
A separate assessment of the plant by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission found that Diablo Canyon can continue to meet the highest safety standards as it operates, including withstanding even the strongest and rarest earthquakes possible at the site.
Extending the operation of Diablo Canyon would significantly reduce emissions, save ratepayers billions and give the state time to pursue additional solutions to meet its clean energy goals.