California's commitment to 100 percent 'clean energy' by 2045, explained

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At the same time that he signed the measure, SB100, Brown also issued an executive order that establishes a new carbon neutrality target for that same year.

As of 2017, the previous year for which complete data is available, the state got 44 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, including 15 percent from large hydroelectric projects, just over 10 percent from solar, and 9 percent from wind power. "So much credit is due to community groups around California that turned the fires and droughts and floods into fuel for significant climate action".

"This bill and the executive order put California on a path to meet the goals of Paris and beyond", Brown said in a statement.

Citing the "existential threat of climate change", Gov.

Environmental activists enthusiastically backed the measure, but there was opposition from some of the state's largest utility companies. The bill passed the Senate 25-13 and the Assembly 44-33 despite concerns about cost increases to California rate payers and questions over whether the 2045 deadline was too ambitious.

The law requires utilities to source 60 percent of their power from renewable energy by the end of 2030, up from a prior goal of 50 percent. Almost every yes vote came from Democrats.

"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.

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Californians overall seem to favor the law.

"We applaud the governor for his support to make a 100% clean energy grid a reality for our great state, and demonstrating California's global leadership for a secure, clean, affordable energy future", said Amisha Rai, Senior Director of California Policy for the Advanced Energy Economy (AEE).

Impressively, The Hill notes that this makes California the largest economy in the world to commit to exclusively using renewable energy from solar, wind, and water.

Utilities are already dealing with an abundance of solar energy during peak times, which must be offloaded to other states when there's not enough demand locally for the power.

In 2017, 32 percent of California's retail electricity sales were served by renewable energy facilities, according to the California Energy Commission.

Renewable energy experts have looked to batteries that can store solar energy generated in the afternoon as one solution, but the technology is not ready for wide-scale deployment. PG&E in June 2016 announced that the Diablo Canyon units would close in 2024 and 2025. It appears that buying electricity from a coal plant in Nevada is fine if that electricity had been supplied prior to the bill's passing, but seeking out new out-of-state natural gas-fired plants to buy from would not be allowed.

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