California One Step Closer to 100 Percent Renewable Energy Obligation

Yesterday another milestone was reached in California’s march toward a 100 percent renewable energy mandate with the passing of SB100 by the Assembly. The bill will require the state to receive 50 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2026; 60 percent by 2030 and 100 percent by 2045. The current law requires the state to get 50 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2030.

Sarah Kozal, an attorney at Stoel Rives in Sacramento said the bill includes provisions for the utilization of zero-carbon electricity, which can include large hydropower plants and gas-fired plants that use carbon capture, which she said allows California to sustain a diversified fleet and maintain a reliable system more easily. However, she added that opponents worry about increasing electricity costs and reliability issues.

Environmental advocates and proponents of the bill rejoiced at the news.

“We are already seeing the impacts of climate change. Our state is burning, our seas are rising and our air quality is getting worse. We need to take steps now to stave off climate change before it’s too late. SB100 is a step in the right direction,” said Dan Jacobson, Director of Environment California in a statement.

“California has long been the home of big thinkers, innovators, and change-makers, and with SB100 we’ll be unleashing that entrepreneurial spirit to solve the existential challenge of climate change,” said Adam Browning, Executive Director of Vote Solar in a statement. “Together we can and must build a 21st-century energy economy that benefits everyone. Let the nation and the world take note: a bright, prosperous and 100 percent clean energy future is 100 percent possible.”

Related: California State Senator: 100 Percent Renewable Energy is ‘Within Reach’

“California just became the largest economy in the world to commit to a 100 percent clean energy grid,” said Paul Cort, the Earthjustice attorney who leads the California Right to Zero campaign in a statement.

The bill now goes back to the full senate for a final vote and then goes to Governor Brown for signature.

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Jennifer Runyon has been studying and reporting about the world's transition to clean energy since 2007. As editor of the world's largest renewable energy publication, Renewable Energy World, she observed, interviewed experts about, and reported on major clean energy milestones including Germany's explosive growth of solar PV, the formation and development of the U.S. onshore wind industry, the U.K. offshore wind boom, China's solar manufacturing dominance, the rise of energy storage, the changing landscape for utilities and grid operators and much, much, more. Today, in addition to managing content on POWERGRID International, she also serves as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH, a globally recognized conference for the transmission and distribution industry. You can reach her at

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