Today, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed S.B.100, which establishes a bold goal of 100% clean energy in the state.
The legislation, first introduced last year by State Sen. Kevin de Leon and supported across the board by clean energy groups, advances California’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 50% by 2025, 60% by 2030 and 100% by 2045. Brown has also issued an executive order directing the state to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 and net negative greenhouse-gas emissions after that.
“This bill and the executive order put California on a path to meet the goals of [the Paris Agreement] and beyond,” the governor says. “It will not be easy. It will not be immediate. But it must be done.”
“In California, Democrats and Republicans know climate change is real, it’s affecting our lives right now, and unless we take action immediately, it may become irreversible,” says de León. “Today, with Governor Brown’s support, California sent a message to the rest of the world that we are taking the future into our own hands – refusing to be the victims of its uncertainty. Transitioning to an entirely carbon-free energy grid will create good-paying jobs, ensure our children breathe cleaner air, and mitigate the devastating impacts of climate change on our communities and economy.”
Notably, California and Hawaii are now the only two U.S. states with a 100% RPS. According to the Sierra Club, California is now the largest global economy to commit to 100% renewables.
“It’s impossible to overstate how significant it is for a state as large and influential as California to commit to 100 percent clean energy,” comments Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. “California is showing the world that a transition to 100 percent clean energy is within reach and it will continue to drive the transition away from fossil fuels – and it is doing this while the federal government abandons clean energy.”
In response to the news, Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), says, “California has taken a monumental step in enacting one of the world’s most ambitious clean energy policies. As the largest solar market in the U.S., California has already proven that investing in renewable energy brings jobs and massive economic and environmental benefits to the state – benefits that will grow exponentially with the enactment of S.B.100.”
She adds that both the governor and the California legislature “deserve enormous credit for getting S.B.100 done.”
Liz Burdock, executive director of the Business Network for Offshore Wind, says, “With today’s signing of S.B.100, Governor Jerry Brown and the State of California have taken an historic leap forward for clean energy.
“Recent commercial advancements in floating technology mean California’s offshore wind resource is an awakening goliath,” she continues. “By including offshore wind as a key resource to meet its new goal, California will grow local businesses, create thousands of good jobs, attract billions of dollars in private investment, and deliver not only clean but affordable electricity to California’s grid.”
She adds that the news is “especially exciting because of its scale.”
“Experience has shown that bold state policy goals are key to establishing an offshore wind development pipeline over time. This unlocks even greater private-sector investment in regional port infrastructure, manufacturing and other supply-chain jobs, all of which drive costs down further,” Burdock says.