- The California Senate has passed a bill that will set the state on the path of 100% clean energy by 2045
- All government agencies will be required to plan for 100% total retail sales of state electricity to come from eligible renewable energy resources
- Clean energy mandate under the bill is for the state to generate 33% of its power from renewables by 2020, 50% by 2026, 60% by 2030, and finally achieving 100% by 2045
- The bill will now only needs the signature of Governor Jerry Brown
The state of California in the US has approved a bill that makes it aim for 100% clean energy by the year 2045. The Senate voted for SB 100 bill, titled ‘The 100 Percent Clean Energy Act of 2018’, with a majority of 44:33. Once Governor Jerry Brown signs it, the bill will make California the largest global economy, and the second US state after Hawaii to have a 100% clean energy goal. This follows on California in May 2018 earning the distinction of becoming the first US state to make installation of rooftop solar mandatory for all new homes starting 2020.
Under the new act, the Public Utilities Commission, State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, and State Air Resources Board are required to plan for 100% of total retail sales of electricity in the state to come from eligible renewable energy resources and zero-carbon resources.
Eligible renewable energy resources are defined as biomass, solar thermal, solar PV, geothermal, fuel cells using renewable fuels, small hydroelectric generation of 30 MW or less, digester gas, among others.
The bill, written by Senator Kevin de Leon, mandates California to work towards generating 33% of its power from renewables by 2020, 50% by 2026, and 60% by 2030, eventually taking it to 100% by 2045.
Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) President and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper hailed the passing of two other bills. She called out to the lawmakers to pass AB 893, which would make utilities ramp up procurement of renewable resources, as well as AB 813, which would create a regional electricity market that includes California and neighboring states to help accelerate renewable energy deployment.
Governor Brown has been leading the state protesting against President Donald Trump’s attempts to make Clean Power Plan toothless. He recently said, “This is a declaration of war against America and all of humanity – it will not stand. Truth and common sense will triumph over Trump’s insanity.”
US based environmental organization Sierra Club’s Executive Director, Michael Brune outlined, “Ongoing wildfires fueled by record-high temperatures and drier conditions exacerbated by climate change have shown us that we can’t wait any longer to tackle the climate crisis and move to clean energy. Moving to a clean energy economy will bring on a new era of prosperity that leaves no workers behind, protects our health and our communities, and creates new jobs and opportunities for people across the country.”
This new development will also push the state to retain its position as the ‘country’s largest state market for solar from 2019 to 2022,’ according to IHS Markit. The market intelligence firm believes during this period, the state will account for a quarter of PV demand in the United States. In the August 2018 edition of its biannual report, PV Market State Profiles-US,IHS Markit expects solar demand to increase 35% in 2018 in California, with total PV installations adding up to 3.2 GW.