California challenges world with green-power goal

California challenges world with green-power goal

The clean energy bill was sponsored by Californian Democratic state Senator Kevin de León, who is challenging fellow Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein for her seat in the fall.

Brown's remarks came Monday during an interview with The Associated Press after he signed the bill setting a goal of generating all California electricity from clean sources by 2045. The new law gives California the most far-reaching clean energy goals of any USA state, along with Hawaii, which set a similar target in 2015 of 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2045.

Gov. Jerry Brown, signs a copy of the environmental measure SB100 as the bill's author, state Sen. In addition, the order sets a goal of maintaining "net negative emissions" beyond 2045, which means using plants or technology to draw carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, and reuse or store it some manner (see "Maybe we can afford to suck CO2 out of the sky after all").

In the final months of his four terms as governor, Brown signed the bill days before the start of a global climate summit in San Francisco.

Opponents - including the state's investor-owned utilities run by PG&E Corp., Edison International and Sempra Energy - raised concerns that the requirement would increase electricity costs. Yes, they do. So what we believe is that people are increasingly seeing the symptoms. "But it must be done", said Governor Brown.

"California is committed to doing whatever is necessary to meet the existential threat of climate change", Brown said in his signing message for the bill.

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The path to 100 percent renewables by 2045 was described as "the most ambitious carbon neutrality commitment of any major economic jurisdiction in the world - of more than 20 countries and at least 40 cities, states and provinces planning to go carbon neutral by mid-century or sooner".

The renewable energy measure also would require California's utilities to generate 60 per cent of their energy from wind, solar and other specific renewable sources by 2030. Meeting the 100 percent carbon-neutral goal in just 27 years gives California the most ambitious such target of any government in the world, the governor's office said.

"California must take a stand and tell the world we are, as always, undeterred by those who wish to stop our progress and move backwards", Schwarzenegger wrote. Electricity is responsible for 16 percent of California's greenhouse gas emissions.

Currently, about one-third of its electricity comes from renewables. Between 2008 and 2015, the price utilities paid for solar energy dropped 77 percent.

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows California is ranked sixth among states in crude oil production and 15th in natural gas, though production of both has declined since the mid-1980s.

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