California Sets Goal Of 100 Percent Renewable Electric Power By 2045

Pablo Tucker
September 14, 2018

Brown signed Senate Bill 100, The 100 Percent Clean Energy Act of 2018, on Monday.

"A child born this week in California can count on reaching adulthood in a state free of smokestacks to create electricity", said Kathryn Phillips, director of Sierra Club California. It calls for acceleration of a timeline for use of renewable energy, like solar energy and wind power, and requires that all electricity generated in the state be derived from renewable sources by 2045. The new law gives California the most far-reaching clean energy goals of any USA state, along with Hawaii, which set a similar target in 2015 of 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2045.

He also signed a bill, SB100, making the state's electricity completely emissions-free by 2045. It's hoped that California will eventually become carbon neutral, removing as much CO2 from the atmosphere as it emits.

The signing came in the same week that San Francisco will host a Global Climate Action Summit on September 12-15.

Environmental activists enthusiastically backed the measure, but there was opposition from some of the state's largest utility companies.

"We want others to do likewise, and if enough people often enough do what is needed we will curb global warming", Brown said during an interview with The Associated Press. "But it must be done", said Mr. Brown, a Democrat who leaves office after the November election.

Brown, who has positioned California as a global leader in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, approved the measure as he prepares to host a summit in San Francisco of climate change leaders from around the world starting Wednesday. That's 10 percent higher than the current mandate.

A UN tally of all the local carbon-reduction initiatives so far reveals "encouraging potential" but will ultimately fall short without deeper commitments from national governments, UN Environment chief Erik Solheim said Monday.

California is the most populous state to agree to such aggressive decarbonization and only the second state to formalize such a pledge in legislation, after Hawaii. The state now gets about 44 percent of its power from renewables and hydropower.

Currently, about one-third of its electricity comes from renewables.

Here's what we know about this new era for California.

The California Energy Commission estimates that 32 percent of retail energy sales were powered by renewable sources a year ago.

The order directs several state agencies to set targets for artificially removing carbon dioxide from the air through a process known as "sequestration". Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles.

In 2017, California's zero-carbon sources - including nuclear, large hydroelectric and other renewable generation - accounted for more than 56 percent of total in-state generation of electricity.

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