Our 2030 Clean Energy Vision

Learn about our bold journey to eliminate 100% of our greenhouse gas emissions from our electric generation by 2030. We call this our Zero Carbon Plan.

image with 100% zero carbon by 2030 textLeading the nation

For decades, SMUD has been a leader in clean energy and carbon reduction. Our 2030 Zero Carbon Vision continues this commitment. Our goal is to reach zero carbon emissions in our power supply by 2030 – the most ambitious goal of any utility in the nation.

This ambitious goal puts the Sacramento Region on the map as an example to follow and a region where innovative, climate-friendly businesses want to be.

Going absolute zero carbon is a bold and ambitious goal -- one we believe we can and must achieve.

Why is SMUD going “zero carbon?”

Climate change is a pressing threat facing our nation and the world, but it's more than that.

We live in one of the dirtiest air basins in the country. A recent report by the American Lung Association ranked Sacramento the 5th most polluted city in the nation. Even though we currently have one of the most aggressive carbon reduction resource plans in the nation, it’s just not enough.

Going zero carbon brings benefits not only globally, but also locally. Reduced emissions improves our local air quality, overall health and creates jobs.

We can’t do this without you

Our customers, community and partners are at the heart of what we do. By going zero carbon, we’re helping create a cleaner and healthier region for all.

Our 2030 Zero Carbon Vision is anchored on our longstanding commitment to provide safe and reliable power with rates among the lowest in California. We won’t compromise on this commitment.

We’re all part of the solution. SMUD is your community-owned, not-for-profit electric service and your input and participation will help us get to zero.

Stay informed and be heard

We want to make sure you can learn more and provide input on our bold plan.

Recorded virtual customer & community meetings

To help our customers and community learn more about SMUD’s ambitious 2030 Clean Energy Vision, we recently held virtual meetings where energy experts discussed solutions to reduce carbon emissions, protect affordable and reliable energy and provide equitable solutions to all customers. 

Stay up to date on our plan

Sign up for 2030 Zero Carbon Plan notifications and receive occasional updates, including opportunities to provide feedback and when this topic will be discussed by our Board of Directors.

Sign up for notifications

Process timeline

Here’s a glance at what’s to come in the months ahead. There will be opportunities to listen to industry expert panels at upcoming Board & Committee meetings and SMUD will present the final 2030 Clean Energy Plan to the Board by March 31, 2021. 

December 2020

  • Customer and community presentation

January 2021

  • 12: Board or Committee meeting with industry expert panel
  • 26: Board or Committee meeting with industry expert panel

February 2021

  • 9: Board or Committee meeting with industry expert panel

March 2021

  • 9: draft 2030 plan
  • 31: final 2030 Zero Carbon Plan presented to Board

Send your feedback

We welcome your ideas or input on our 2030 Zero Carbon Vision. You can easily share your feedback using the form below, or email us at ZeroCarbon@smud.org.

What is our Zero Carbon Plan?

We’re working with our customers and community partners to get input as we develop our 2030 Zero Carbon Plan to present to our Board of Directors in March 2021. The plan will be our road map for getting to zero carbon emissions and it’ll focus on 4 key areas.


Proven clean technology

We’re planning to expand the use of our existing renewable energy technologies like wind, solar, hydro, biomass, battery storage and demand response. While these proven carbon-free technologies aren’t fully capable of achieving our 2030 zero carbon goal, they can help get us about 80% of the way there.


New technology and business models

We’ll explore new and emerging technologies like power-to-gas technology, hydrogen and methane, long-duration batteries and compressed air storage. This work will help us identify potential partnerships and business models like virtual power plants. While these technologies aren’t ready for large scale use, they’re an important part to be able to replace our natural gas generation.


Natural gas generation repurposing

Today, our natural gas plants provide low-cost, reliable power. We will need to retire or refuel them with non-carbon emissions sources by 2030 to achieve our goal. As part of this work, we'll explore possible options for retiring and repurposing our natural gas power plants based on a high-level reliability assessment. Maintaining reliable electric service is important, so we’ll conduct more detailed reliability assessments before finalizing plans for our natural gas power plants.


Financial impacts and options

We’ll focus on creating an investment plan for expanding our existing proven clean technologies and for researching and piloting new technologies and business models. We’ll also look at alternative revenue sources, such as partnership and grants.