If the new bill passes, California would be the second US state after Hawaii to pursue a 100% clean energy mandate. Source: Flickr/lindalino
The Golden State is stepping up its already formidable renewables game in a new Senate bill that increases the state clean energy standard to 100% by 2045 – up from 50% by 2030.
SB 584 was introduced by Senate leader Kevin de León last week – the same Democrat politication who introduced the 50% clean energy mandate – and would ensure that the Golden State maintains its market leading position. Excellent sunshine hours combined with supportive solar policies have created an ideal market. As older fossil-fuel fired and nuclear generation plants come offline and load growth increases, additional renewable energy procurement will be required in California.
The bill would up the ante on the state’s progress thus far; requiring California to hit 50% renewable energy by 2025 and phase out fossil fuels completely by 2045 – five years sooner than under current law. So far Hawaii is the only US state with a 100% clean energy mandate – one which was recently accelerated to be hit by just 2040.
Los Angeles approved a 100% clean energy mandate in September 2016.
Whether the statewide proposal catches on with the rest of the Senate, or provides the foundation for a more detailed bill, is yet to be seen. Whilst ambitious, the new mandate is not unrealistic, given that in Q3 2016, California became the first state ever to add more than 1GW of utility-scale solar in a single quarter. Furthermore, solar created 100,000 jobs in 2016 in California alone, according to the Solar Foundation’s National Solar Job Census.