Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill mandating the electricity target on Monday. The legislation requires retail electricity suppliers within the state to secure 100 percent of their power from renewables or zero-emissions sources by 2045 and updates the state's existing renewable portfolio standard (RPS). California is the second state to pledge to make their energy carbon-free, the first being Hawaii. He also signed a bill, SB100, making the state's electricity completely emissions-free by 2045. Also on Monday, Brown issued an executive order establishing a new target to achieve carbon neutrality by the same year.
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. More broadly, California has set ambitious goals to slash greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.
"California is showing the world that a transition to 100 percent clean energy is within reach". It appears that buying electricity from a coal plant in Nevada is fine if that electricity had been supplied prior to the bill's passing, but seeking out new out-of-state natural gas-fired plants to buy from would not be allowed. Nevertheless, pursuing 100% renewable energy has never been more important, as we get closer to entering a time that scientists say will be the point of no return from irreversible climate damage. The bulk of that is solar energy.
The bill and executive order puts California on a path to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement, Brown said.More news: Russians charged in poisoning say they visited United Kingdom as tourists
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Brown has often faced criticism that he's too lenient with the oil industry, including from environmental groups pushing him to create a moratorium on new oil and gas wells in the state.
The bill is in direct opposition to the current Trump administration efforts to roll back efforts to fight climate change. Since 2010, California has procured more than 1,500 MW of new energy storage capacity; North American energy users and utilities have collectively procured over 2 GW of advanced energy storage projects to date.
"California must take a stand and tell the world we are, as always, undeterred by those who wish to stop our progress and move backwards", Schwarzenegger wrote.
The California Energy Commission estimates that 32 percent of retail energy sales were powered by renewable sources past year.
Experts say that while a goal of having 100% renewable energy by 2050 is an important one to strive for, there is some concern as to whether it is attainable.