Full Title: California’s Energy Future: The Potential for Biofuels
Author(s): Heather Youngs and Christopher R. Somerville
Publisher(s): California Council on Science and Technology
Publication Date: 5/2013

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California has a policy goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG’s) to levels 80% below 1990 emissions (90% below 2005 emissions) by 2050. Transportation emissions currently account for 40% of California’s GHG emissions. The focus of this report is an assessment of the potential for biomass-based fuels to contribute to the energy needs of California, particularly for transportation, in 2050 while attaining the current policy goals for GHG emissions.

This report is a supplement to the Summary Report, “California’s Energy Future – The View to 2050”, which provided an overview of scenarios by which California might achieve substantial GHG reductions. Thus, this analysis is to be placed in context of a hypothetical future energy system with reduced and shifted demands for liquid and gaseous fuels. As described in the Summary Report, demand for fuels was adjusted for population growth and widespread implementation of efficiency and electrification measures in transportation2, residential and commercial buildings, and industry. According to the analysis, low-carbon liquid and gaseous fuels will be required to meet these goals, even if energy efficiency and other low-carbon electricity are widely implemented.