California locked in to carbon-free power by 2045

Katie Ramirez
September 13, 2018

All of California's electricity will come from clean power sources by 2045 under legislation signed by Gov.

The twin actions Monday were created to be a drastic opening gesture by the governor, just before he will host a meeting of global leaders on the issue in San Francisco later this week. "But it must be done", said Mr. Brown, a Democrat who leaves office after the November election.

"California is committed to doing whatever is necessary to meet the existential threat of climate change", the Governor declared.

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Brown has a number of bills headed for his desk that would also set a standard for other states, including a bill that would hold retailers jointly responsible for workplace abuses against port truckers at ports including Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Oakland; and a bill that would mandate women on the public, corporate boards of companies in California.

Critics have argued that the bill is unrealistic and will compound the state's problems with rolling brownouts and high energy prices.

Brown is pushing for regional management of the western grid to better share renewables, but he was unable to convince lawmakers to give up the control that the governor and Legislature now have to appoint leaders of the state's primary grid operator.

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While 32% of commercial energy sale a year ago was purchased from renewable sources, one glaring problem California faces is having the overall energy supply matchup with overall demand for electricity.

Here's what we know about this new era for California. 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 aim is to ensure greenhouse gas emissions are low enough that they can be absorbed by forests, oceans, soil and other natural systems.

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

The law is the culmination of a movement that began 16 years ago, when former Gov.

The nation's largest state now gets just over one-third of its energy from wind, solar or geothermal power, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

California has officially pledged to get all its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2045.

NPR's Planet Money reported that on a sunny day this June, almost 50 percent of the state's electricity came from solar energy alone. The bulk of that is solar energy. California would need to install more than 200 times as much energy-storage capacity than it has now to make up for the loss of gas plants, according to the Clean Air Task Force, a Boston-based energy-policy nonprofit. PG&E in June 2016 announced that the Diablo Canyon units would close in 2024 and 2025.

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