California's commitment to 100 percent 'clean energy' by 2045, explained


California Governor Jerry Brown delivers his final state of the state address in Sacramento, California, U.S., January 25, 2018.

California's governor and host Jerry Brown, whose crusade for clean energy started in the 1970s, set the tone by approving landmark legislation Monday that commits his state to purging Carbon dioxide from its electricity grid by 2045. Jerry Brown signed a bill Monday that aims to eliminate fossil fuel use for electricity by 2045 and serves as a rebuke to USA withdrawal from the Paris climate accord. He also noted that California's electricity sector is only responsible for 16 percent of the state's current carbon emissions, and stressed that efforts to stop global warming will require large investments across all sectors, including energy, transportation, industrial, commercial and residential buildings, agriculture, and various forms of sequestration. Also on Monday, Brown issued an executive order establishing a new target to achieve carbon neutrality by the same year.

The signing came in the same week that San Francisco will host a Global Climate Action Summit on September 12-15.

The renewable energy measure would require California's utilities to generate 60 percent of their energy from wind, solar and other specific renewable sources by 2030.

While 32% of commercial energy sale past year was purchased from renewable sources, one glaring problem California faces is having the overall energy supply matchup with overall demand for electricity.

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A report released by the state's energy commission estimated that in 2017 around one third of retail electricity sales in California came from renewable sources.

"SB 100 is the crowning achievement in Governor Brown's legacy of embracing clean energy and fighting climate change. But it must be done", Brown said. "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". "California and the rest of the world have miles to go before we achieve zero-carbon emissions".

The announcement comes just days ahead of the Global Climate Action Summit. California's renewable energy goal is not as ambitious as Hawaii, which has adopted a 100 percent renewable energy mandate.

Business groups also opposed the measure amid concerns that it would raise the price of energy and, together with California's other environmental and labor protections, make it hard to compete with firms in other states.

To support energy storage deployments and greenhouse-gas reduction goals, two additional energy storage bills that complement SB 100 await Governor Brown's signature. Natural gas, considered a "cleaner" fossil fuel, makes up 49 percent of the energy mix. Kevin de Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat who is running for U.S. Senate against fellow Democratic U.S. Sen.