California is setting some ambitious goals for itself after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new bill that would require the state to get all of its electricity from renewable resources by 2045.
The legislation, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday, would require California utilities to generate at least 60 percent of its electricity from wind, solar, and other specific renewable sources by 2030. The Golden State's goal is to eventually become completely independent from fossil fuels by 2045.
SB 100 only outlines a goal, and does not include a mandate or penalty should California fall short.
Brown has positioned California as a global leader in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Phasing out fossil fuels as a source for electricity would be a major change for the state's nearly 40 million residents. Now, utilities in California generally rely on natural gas plants to meet demand when renewable energy sources fall short in providing power to residents - especially in the early evenings as people return home and begin using air conditioners and major appliances.
"It's not going to be easy and will not be immediate, but it must be done," Brown said. "California is committed to doing whatever is necessary to meet the existential threat of climate change."
Utilities are already dealing with the problem of having too much power during peak times, which is usually sold to other states. Renewable energy experts say battery technology, like using pumped-storage hydroelectric plants, or large scale lithium-ion batteries, are some possible solutions, but that technology is not ready for large-scale development yet.
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