California Commits to 100% Clean Electricity by 2045

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California would set a goal of phasing out all fossil fuels from the state's electricity sector by 2045 under legislation signed by Gov.

On Monday, September 10, Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that committed the state to going 100 percent renewable by 2045.

"There is no understating the importance of this measure", Brown said at a signing ceremony in Sacramento surrounded by state lawmakers.

The new law, along with an executive order Brown signed directing California to take as much carbon dioxide out of the air as it emits, represent the latest in a string of ambitious environmental initiatives as California seeks to fill a void left by President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord and his efforts to boost the coal industry.

The new law comes days before Mr Brown hosts the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. It's merely a goal, with no mandate or penalty for falling short.

California investor-owned utilities are already demonstrating their leadership toward achieving SB 100 goals.

California's utilities had been on track to meet the previous goal, of 50 percent clean power by 2030, "but scientists debate whether cost-efficient 100 percent clean energy is feasible or if it would require new technological advances", Bradford wrote.

As the Trump administration rolls back federal efforts to combat climate change, California has actively pursued a leading role in the worldwide fight against global warming.

"It's not going to be easy and will not be immediate, but it must be done", Brown said.

It also is less restrictive on technology, allowing any carbon-free resources to qualify including large hydroelectric dams and nuclear power. The bulk of that is solar energy.

California has repeatedly clashed with the federal government's policies on climate change, immigration and other issues since Trump became president.

Opponents included major utilities, such as Pacific Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison, oil interests like the Western States Petroleum Association, and the California Farm Bureau Federation and California Chamber of Commerce.

The new bill was supported by Democrats who emphasized the damaging consequences of climate change, while opposed by state Republicans who highlighted the policy's financial costs, Bradford reported. The second bill, SB 1369, for the first time defines green electrolytic hydrogen as an eligible form of energy storage to help address future long-duration and seasonal storage requirements that will be required in California's zero-emission electric future.

In 2017, 32 percent of California's retail electricity sales were served by renewable energy facilities, according to the California Energy Commission.

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