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24 February 2017

California strives for 100% renewable energy by 2045

The new Californian bill would require the state to obtain 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2045.

The California’s current target mandates that the state must reach 50 per cent renewable energy use by 2030. 

The new bill – SB 584 – was introduced by state Senate leader Kevin de León, and would see California accelerate the 50 per cent target by five years to 2025, and cease using fossil fuels completely by 2045.

It is believed that the likelihood of the bill being passed is high as both houses of the state Assembly are currently controlled by the Democrats and democrat state Governor, Jerry Brown, is considered a strong advocate of renewable energy.

In 2016, the Golden State acquired 27 per cent of its electricity needs from clean energy sources, including wind and solar.

Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric Company have reportedly sourced 24-35 per cent of their electricity from renewables in 2015, and are on track to meet 41-45 per cent of their power needs from renewable sources by 2020.

100,000 jobs have been created by the solar industry and according to experts the 100 per cent target is becoming more achievable as costs for solar and wind continue to fall.

Moreover, California has amble potential locations for additional renewable energy plants and in many areas of the state, solar is already the most inexpensive option.

Jim Woodruff, President of the Large-scale Solar Association (who worked on the bill), told the Desert Sun: "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.”

He went on to say: “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."

The news follows the announcement made by legislators in Massachusetts on Monday 13 February that commits the state to meet all of its energy needs from renewables by 2050.

The legislation, introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Sean Garballey and Marjorie Decker and in the Senate by Sen. Jamie Eldridge, calls for the state to transition to 100 per cent renewables by 2035 and to eliminate the use of fossil fuels for heating, transportation, and other sectors by 2050.

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