California Pledges to Make Electricity 100 Percent Clean by 2045

Cesar Mills
September 13, 2018

"But it must be done", Brown said.

He also signed a bill, SB100, making the state's electricity completely emissions-free by 2045. "We believe customers must be protected from unreasonable rate and bill impacts". He has previously supported efforts to reduce the state's greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, and to shore up the cap-and-trade system that requires polluters to buy permits for their emissions.

Under the new law, California will aim to hit 50 percent renewable energy in 2025 and 60 percent by 2030.

The goal would then be to use only carbon-free sources to generate electricity by 2045. It is more of a goal than a mandate.

California follows the example set by Hawaii, which set the same 2045 goal in 2015.

About 26.9% of the state's generation now comes from hydro, with 26.9% from renewables and 43.3% from natural gas. "Storage has proven its ability to integrate intermittent renewable energy and optimize existing assets for a cleaner, more affordable and reliable grid".

The bill and executive order puts California on a path to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement, Brown said. "It makes too much sense".

"We've reached all these great goals with renewables, but at the same time our families have paid the price with an increase in their electric bills every year", said Devon Mathis, R-Visalia, during the Assembly debate.

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California has almost 54,000 active wells, some of them close to urbanized areas in Southern California and the Central Valley, according to state data.

The legislation also marks the latest conflict between California and President Trump, with the state repeatedly defying the administration's policies on everything from energy to civil rights to immigration. The state ranks 15th in natural gas production. Although California has phased coal plants out of its state-wide energy mix, it still relies.

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

The measure was written by state Sen.

"Today we're setting a marker that will be remembered by future generations", de Leon said. Carbon neutrality refers to achieving net zero carbon emissions by balancing a measured amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount sequestered or offset, or buying enough carbon credits to make up the difference. Electricity is responsible for 16 percent of California's greenhouse gas emissions.

The order directs several state agencies to set targets for artificially removing carbon dioxide from the air through a process known as "sequestration". The new law gives California the most far-reaching clean energy goals of any US state, along with Hawaii, which set a similar target in 2015 of 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2045.

The legislation Brown signed has two parts.

"There's no understating the importance of this measure", Brown said moments before signing the bill. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles.

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