California Just Committed to 100% Carbon-Free Power by 2045

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In 2017, 32 percent of California's retail electricity sales were served by renewable energy facilities, according to the California Energy Commission.

Is that possible after the signature of Gov. California is the second state to adopt such a goal, after Hawaii.

"This summit is going to be a showcase for the whole world in terms of climate action", said Ethan Elkind, head of the climate program at the Center for Law, Energy & the Environment at the University of California, Berkeley. "But it must be done".

"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.

So what happened this week?

In addition to that target, the legislation establishes benchmarks, requiring energy service providers to generate 50 percent of power from renewable resources by 2026 and 60 percent by 2030.

And earlier this year, for one entire month, Portugal produced enough renewable energy to meet its entire electrical demand - although the country did rely on fossil fuels to balance out the periodic disconnect between supply and demand. Jerry Brown signed a bill Monday that drastically ups the state's clean energy goals and commits to 100 percent zero-carbon emissions in just a few decades.

Finally, Brown signed an executive order to spur the state toward "carbon neutrality" by 2045, meaning it will remove as much carbon dioxide from the air as it emits. But a move by California, which is the most populous state in the union, would arguably do more to spur state-level investment.

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What kind of energy are we actually talking about?

By 2045, all of the state's electricity must come from renewable or other zero-carbon sources.

"The state's other power plants, like natural gas and nuclear, aren't as flexible as they need to be to handle those ups and downs".

California utilities are struggling to integrate the abundant solar energy now produced. 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.

What do supporters say about the achievement?

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, D-San Diego, left, who carried the bill in the Assembly, reacts.

What are the criticisms on this bill?

The bill passed the Senate 25-13 and the Assembly 44-33 despite concerns about cost increases to California rate payers and questions over whether the 2045 deadline was too ambitious.

The bill was. The votes weren't a sure thing: some Republicans and Democrats anxious that such an ambitious goal would lead to increased energy cost for their constituents.

Agriculture groups and utilities also opposed the bill.

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