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California Going for 100% Clean Energy with a New Bill

offshore wind energy turbines
Image Source: Lars Plougmann, CC BY-SA 2.0

California Senate Leader Kevin de León has introduced a new bill that would require the state to generate 100% of its electricity from clean energy sources by 2045.

Basically, the new legislation would require the state to hit 50% clean energy by 2025 and entirely phase out fossil fuels by 2045. However, it is not certain yet whether de León will move forward his current proposal or has another more detailed legislation to flesh out later.

Still, the bill is hailed by advocates. According to Jim Woodruff, president of the Large-Scale Solar Association, the legislation reflects the state’s “moral imperative” to reduce climate pollution. He said:

“Whether it’s a direct response to what’s happening in Washington, I don’t know, but it’s certainly an indication that California will continue to lead in this area,” said Woodruff, who is also an executive at First Solar, which has built several large solar farms in the desert Southwest. “It’s the sixth-largest economy in the world. I think by putting these goals out, it’s making a pretty powerful statement, not only in the U.S., but globally, that if we set out the goals and put the resources to it, those goals can be achieved.”

Now, the government’s plans to scale up renewable energy are looking highly feasible. According to the California Energy Commission, California is already getting 27% of its electricity from solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources last year. Thanks to its sprawling deserts, there will be more growth for clean energy in the state.

Also, there is the plan of Governor Jerry Brown to link California’s electric grid to those of other western states, making it easier for the state’s utilities to import cheap clean energy.