California Gov. Jerry Brown signs renewable energy bill


The law makes California the largest global economy to commit to 100 percent clean energy.

"A child born this week in California can count on reaching adulthood in a state free of smokestacks to create electricity", said Kathryn Phillips, director of Sierra Club California.

California Governor Jerry Brown stunned residents throughout the Golden State Monday; abruptly singing new legislation that would ban fossil fuel consumption in the region by 2045 and switch the entire electricity grid towards "clean sources".

"Continuing to drill and frack for oil and gas is not only counterproductive to efforts to meaningfully address climate change - it also poisons frontline communities, including the many people who work for the fossil fuel industry", Greenpeace said in a statement.

"There's no understating the importance of this measure", Brown said, moments before signing the two actions. Brown also issued an executive order today requiring the state to become carbon neutral by 2045, that is, mandating that the state remove as much greenhouse gas from the atmosphere as it puts into the atmosphere.

Brown's actions come ahead of a global climate change summit beginning Wednesday in San Francisco.

Critics have argued that the bill is unrealistic and will compound the state's problems with rolling brownouts and high energy prices.

"It will not be easy", Brown tweeted after signing Senate Bill 100 and a related executive order.

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"There is no understating the importance of this measure", Governor Jerry Brown said, and vowed to honour the 2015 Paris climate deal.

That's right: 100 percent "clean energy" in 27 years.

For more than a decade California has adopted ambitious laws and regulations to confront climate change.

The bill also requires the state's Public Utilities Commission and its Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission to take steps to ensure that a transition to a zero-carbon electric system for California does not cause or contribute to greenhouse gas emission increases elsewhere in the western grid.

"If we're going to have these first-in-the-nation laws, we want to see first-in-the-nation benefits", said Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable. The state now gets about 44 percent of its power from renewables and hydropower. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles.

This bill moves the 50 percent goal up to the year 2026 and establishes a new goal of 60 percent renewable energy by 2030.

The three largest investor-owned utilities collectively served 34.76 percent of their 2016 retail electricity sales with renewable power sources like wind, hydroelectricity, geothermal and bioenergy. Another potential solution is pumped storage, in which water is pumped uphill in the afternoon using solar energy and then released through hydroelectric generators after the sun sets.