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Reports & Research

The Impact of Solar Powered Oil Production on California's Economy


This ICF report provides an economic analysis of Innovative Crude Production Methods under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has proposed to re-adopt the LCFS, reaffirming its original target of a 10 percent reduction in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels used in California by 2020 and subsequent years. The regulation and the re-adoption proposal include provisions to promote innovations in crude oil production methods that reduce the carbon intensity of petroleum.

ICF employed IMPLAN, an input-output model, to calculate the economic impacts of deploying solar steam generation and solar electric power generation technologies. ICF developed steady and accelerated deployment scenarios for each technology, capturing 5 percent and 30 percent of their respective markets (as measured by volume of steam or electricity consumption).

ICF also considered the economic impacts of keeping LCFS credits generated by solar steam and solar power in California, rather than having the value of those credits transferred to low carbon fuel providers in other regions. Furthermore, ICF considered the impacts on refiners as a result of being able to maintain margins that would have otherwise been impacted by reduced crude runs or reduced margins from having to export the refined products.