California Sets Goal Of 100 Percent Renewable Electric Power By 2045

Stephen Lam  Getty Images North America

Stephen Lam Getty Images North America

"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.

Jerry Brown signed legislation on Monday to shift the state to 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2045.

"There's no understating the importance of this measure", Brown said, moments before signing the two actions.

Brown also announced plans for a carbon neutral bill, mandating that the state remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it emits by 2045.

In the final months of his four terms as governor, Brown signed the bill days before the start of a global climate summit in San Francisco.

ROMERO: The legislation calls on electric utilities to move faster toward previous renewable energy goals. Yes, they do. So what we believe is that people are increasingly seeing the symptoms.

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

Jerry Brown says he hopes a law he's signed moving California toward eliminating fossil fuels for electricity will serve as a model for other state and national governments.

The path to 100 percent renewables by 2045 was described as "the most ambitious carbon neutrality commitment of any major economic jurisdiction in the world - of more than 20 countries and at least 40 cities, states and provinces planning to go carbon neutral by mid-century or sooner".

Last year, California joined Washington state and NY to form the U.S. Climate Alliance, which now includes 17 U.S. states committed to achieving the goals of the Paris climate agreement and meeting or exceeding the targets of the Clean Power Plan crafted by the Obama administration's Environmental Protection Agency. Kevin de León, a Los Angeles Democrat who carried SB 100, said. This is known as the California Renewable Portfolio Standard Program, and the goal for the use of renewable resources - such as wind and solar - had previously been set at 50 percent by the year 2030.

About 26.9% of the state's generation now comes from hydro, with 26.9% from renewables and 43.3% from natural gas.

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

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. He also noted that California's electricity sector is only responsible for 16 percent of the state's current carbon emissions, and stressed that efforts to stop global warming will require large investments across all sectors, including energy, transportation, industrial, commercial and residential buildings, agriculture, and various forms of sequestration.

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