Could California get 100 Percent of its energy from renewables by 2050?


Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) says he wants California to get 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2050, and he's backing that up with a new bill, SB-100.

De León's bill is an aggressive extension of a previous law (SB-350) passed by lawmakers in 2015 that called for at least 50% of California's energy needs to come from renewable resources. 

"It’s the most ambitious target in the world - especially for an economy that dwarfs all but a handful of nations," de León said at a news conference at the UC Davis campus on Tuesday. 

The bill, which amends SB-100, would call for the state to receive 60% of its power from renewable energy production by 2030. 

Another goal for the bill would be for the state to reduce - if not completely eliminate - the use of natural gas which regulators do not consider a renewable energy source. Natural gas is the top source of electricity in California. 

De León says they're talking with natural gas companies about their bill saying that they could begin capturing uncontrolled methane emissions from alternate sources, such as dairy farms, landfills, and wastewater treatment plants. 

He did not expand on how natural gas would be phased out of California's energy equation.

California currently gets about 25% of its energy from renewable sources. Two other states, Hawaii and Vermont have higher percentages. 

Hawaii has already set their goal of adopting 100% renewable energy by 2045 while Vermont wants at least 75% of their energy to be renewable by 2032. 


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