California Sets Goal to Utilize 100% Renewable Energy by 2045
Ever the state to lead the charge towards a more sustainable future, California has set an ambitious goal to rely entirely on renewable electricity by 2045. Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill on Monday mandating the state to strive towards this goal, along with an executive order calling for carbon neutrality throughout California. This order essentially states that California must “remove(s) as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it emits.”
This marks California as the second state to strive for a carbon-free, fossil fuel-free environment, second to Hawaii. At the signing ceremony in Sacramento, Governor Brown said, “It’s not going to be easy. It will not be immediate. But it must be done.” He continued, “California is committed to doing whatever is necessary to meet the existential threat of climate change.”
The bill is in direct opposition to the current Trump administration efforts to roll back efforts to fight climate change. California has taken a clear stance in being one of the leaders of the country in pursuing action to clean up the environment and implement strong renewable energy use.
This bill requires that 50% of California’s electricity must be powered by renewable resources by the year 2025. By 2030, 60% of the total energy required must come from renewable resources, and by 2045, state legislature hopes to have achieved a 100% renewable power use.
While 32% of commercial energy sale last year was purchased from renewable sources, one glaring problem California faces is having the overall energy supply matchup with overall demand for electricity. Energy storage systems will need to become more effective, along with a more robust, connected grid system that allows for these renewable energy sources to be properly stored and available for consumption during times of high demand.
Experts say that while a goal of having 100% renewable energy by 2050 is an important one to strive for, there is some concern as to whether it is attainable. UC Berkeley energy and business professor Severin Borenstein says, “We are making real progress in storage technologies and in renewable energy technologies, so it’s quite possible by 2050 it will be feasible. How cost-effective it will be is also an open question.” Nevertheless, pursuing 100% renewable energy has never been more important, as we get closer to entering a time that scientists say will be the point of no return from irreversible climate damage.