California came closer to securing 100 percent of its electricity from clean sources yesterday with passage of Senate Bill 100 by the Assembly.
The bill now has won ‘yes’ votes from both branches of the state legislature; 44-33 in the Assembly and 25-13 in the Senate in May.
Next SB 100 goes back to the Senate to reconcile some minor changes before being delivered to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk for his signature.
If the legislation makes it through the final steps – which it’s expected to do – California will require retail electricity suppliers to secure all of their inventory from renewables or zero emissions sources by 2045.
The requirement applies to investor-owned and public utilities, as well as energy providers and community aggregators. The bill defines ‘renewable’ as technologies that use biomass, solar thermal, photovoltaic, wind, geothermal, fuel cells with renewable fuels, small hydroelectric generation of 30 MW or less, digester gas, municipal solid waste conversion, landfill gas, ocean wave, ocean thermal, or tidal current.
Hawaii approved a similar bill three years ago. So while California would not be the first state with a 100 percent requirement, the legislation is nonetheless historic, given the state’s size and connection to the North American grid.
Yesterday’s vote won immediate praise from environmental organizations. Environment America said it will press for other states to pursue similar clean energy goals, noting bills in the works in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.
“No matter what part of the country you live in, nor your political affiliation, renewable energy makes sense for the future — and now. That’s why cities from San Diego in the West, to Georgetown, Texas, to Orlando in the East are forging paths to go 100 percent renewable. California and Hawaii may be the first states to take this big step, but they won’t be the last,” said Doug Phelps, the chairman of Environment America. Environment California is one of 29 state affiliates of Environment America.
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