The state of California has once again led the way in terms of states who are serious about reducing their impact on the environment. On August 28th, a bill was passed by the California State Assembly which will require the state to be 100% carbon-free by the year 2045. On September 10th, Governor Jerry Brown officially signed the bill into law.
That’s a major victory for the clean energy advocates in The Golden State.
The bill, called SB 100, sets some pretty clear and heavy goals. Under the guidelines, California’s clean energy target by 2030 is now 60 percent. By 2045, the state will need to get all of its electricity from carbon-free resources.
California isn’t technically the first state to make such a move. Hawaii passed a similar legislation, also requiring all electricity sources to be carbon-free by 2045. Hawaii must import all of its carbon fuels, which has some pretty high costs associated with it. Hawaii’s plan also limits the proposed renewable sources to just wind and solar.
California has more options, but no solid plans have been laid out yet regarding which sources the state will rely on.
Also, California’s proposal to go 100% clean carries more weight than Hawaii’s proposal. There are just under 1.5 million people who live in Hawaii, whereas California has almost 40 million residents. In fact, the state of California represents the fifth largest economy on the planet. That makes the scale of newly passed law the largest of its kind.
California already has some pretty substantial plans in place and it’s the toughest state in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. The state house both nuclear and hydroelectric power plants already. However, while these plants produce electricity that is technically carbon-free, they won’t meet the requirements set forth in the state’s renewable standards laws. That means California will likely see much more development in the areas of wind and solar power.
It won’t stop there, though, as we can only assume that the next 27 years will bring about new technology that will help the state achieve its historic goals.