California is on a path to a 100% renewable energy grid by 2024, after the state Assembly on Tuesday (28 August) approved the Senate Bill 100 Bill, making it the world's largest economy to have made such pledge.
The Assembly on August 28, voted 45 – 32 in support of the bill (SB100), which gives California 27 years to get rid of fossil-fired energy source from its power grid.
The SB100 also established an initial 2030 target of achieving at least 60% clean energy, with just 40% fossil-sourced energy remaining in the state power grid. This overrides California's previous target for the same deadline – a 50% clean energy. According to the latest report on renewable energy by the department of energy, California has achieved up to 34% of its renewable energy target for 2030.
The California State Senate will receive the bill once again as formality demands before going to Governor Jerry Brown, who has 30 days to sign off the motion.
California clean energy move means the state will join Hawaii to become the second U.S. state that has pledged for a 100% clean energy by 2045 if Governor Jerry Brown signs the motion off as expected. Hawaii in 2015 approved a similar bill.
Attorney Paul Cort of environmental law firm Earthjustice welcomed the SB100, which was introduced by Sen. Kevin de León. Cort said the bill will provide a path to safeguard even beyond the California climate.
California is already a home to clean energy jobs, about 500,000, and as well as remarkable energy projects. The state does need to prove it can do it. California ranks fourth in wind generation, behind Texas, which was last week confirmed the US leader in wind energy, Iowa, and Oklahoma.
The bill was also praised by executive director May Boeve of Climate action NGO 350, who dubbed the bill a “massive victory for Californians,” particularly for those interested in 100% clean energy for the state. Despite lawmakers blocking SB100 last year September, it came back for a pass after a recent survey by Public Policy Institute of California found that 72% of Californians are in support of the motion.
California clean energy target could inspire other states
The US could be encouraged to set a target for 100% renewable energy following the California energy transition bill. In the least effect, other states could adopt similar legislation, if California could be on the path to 100% clean energy despite its size.
Political analysts are already speculating that California clean energy bill could influence lawmakers in New York to support a bill that would set a target of 100% renewable energy by 2050, referred to as the Climate and Community Protection Act.