California Gov. Jerry Brown signs renewable energy bill


Given his past history in advocating for renewable energy and environmental policies, it is unsurprising Governor Brown acted so quickly in signing this bill into law. The legislation requires retail electricity suppliers within the state to secure 100 percent of their power from renewables or zero-emissions sources by 2045 and updates the state's existing renewable portfolio standard (RPS). For example, last month Southern California Edison (SCE) submitted its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) that highlighted the significant role of energy storage in achieving the state's electricity sector greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals by 2030. He also issued an executive order calling for statewide carbon neutrality - meaning California "removes as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it emits" - by the same year.

Brown's actions come ahead of a global climate change summit beginning Wednesday in San Francisco. Utilities rely on natural gas plants to meet demand when renewables fall short, particularly in the early evening when the sun sets and people turn on their air conditioners as they get home from work. The bill also requires electric utilities and other service providers to generate 60% of their power from renewable sources by 2030, up from the 50% goal previously set for that date.

The California Energy Commission estimates that 32 percent of retail energy sales were powered by renewable sources past year.

The bill's ambitiousness is compounded by the executive order that Gov.

"Those who don't want it are going to be foisting very high prices on California, and I think there will be resistance to that", Brown said.

ROMERO: The legislation calls on electric utilities to move faster toward previous renewable energy goals.

Senate Bill 100 raises the state's already ambitious goals for producing electricity from wind, solar and other green sources.

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One of the most interesting aspects of the zero-emissions bill signed today is that it also specifies that California can't increase the carbon emissions of another state to get cheap electricity.

The co-chairs of the San Francisco climate summit include former NY mayor and philanthropist Michael Bloomberg, UN climate chief Patricia Espinosa, and China's top climate official, Xie Zhenhua.

The political reality slowing the transition to a global economy powered by clean energy rather than fossil fuels resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC and has dismissed climate change a hoax.

California ranked sixth among states in crude oil production in May, the latest data available from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

But electricity accounts for only 16 percent of California's emissions.

Senator Kevin De Leon wrote the bill in hopes of protecting California as well as future generations from the effects of climate change.