California has hit record high clean energy production in recent years.
However, there is still progress to be made in attaining all of the state’s electricity from renewable sources. Senate Bill 100 proposes the state achieves 100% clean energy production by 2045; a goal receiving support across the Santa Cruz community.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Gary Patton former Santa Cruz County Supervisor voiced his support for SB 100 stating, “This legislation sets a goal that we can meet. And what’s more important, it sets a goal that we must meet, as our state provides leadership on the critical global warming challenges that put our planetary environment in peril.” Drastic reform in modern energy production is needed to avoid the detrimental consequences of global climate change. California a trendsetting state has taken the lead in proposing these necessary transformations.
SB 100 has passed the State Senate and two State Assembly committees. The bill now awaits action by the Assembly Appropriations Committee before the legislative session ends on September 15th, 2017.
In 2002, California set its first Renewable Portfolio Standard requiring energy providers to generate 17% of their electricity from renewable sources. Subsequently, the state has ramped up these goals calling for 20% renewables by 2013, 25% by 2016 and 33% by the end of 2020. The most recent of these standards, SB 350 passed in 2015 and requires California energy providers to supply consumers with 50% renewable energy by 2030. Utilities in the state have already surpassed the instituted energy goals, making 100% renewable electricity generation a viable objective.
Mike Taylor from Allterra asserted “California is a trendsetter in the United States– what we do people follow… Hopefully, the model we make here spreads throughout the country.”
Santa Cruz Supervisor Bruce McPherson, Chair of the newly formed local energy agency Monterey Bay Community Power identified that “The solar industry employs over 100,000 people in the State.” He continues to illuminate the support surrounding clean power detailing that “Community choice energy agencies have been responsible for more than $1 billion of investment in renewable generation projects throughout California.” Mike Taylor explained that “40 % of solar jobs were in California,” placing the state in the position to strive for greater renewable energy goals. The clean electricity sector exhibits a growing job market, ensuring economic stability in addition to its environmental benefits.
Environment California Research & Policy Center recently released Renewables on the Rise, a report finding that “California has seen a 2,583% increase in the amount of electricity it gets from the sun and a 245% increase in wind power production” over the past decade. Historical statistics demonstrate the state’s preparedness to strive for greater energy goals in the coming decades. Innovations in renewable energy generation and technologies like battery storage and electric vehicles inspire confidence in the state’s ability to achieve 100% renewable energy generation. SB100 presents an opportunity for the state to excel and sets a progressive framework for other states to follow suit. As one press conference attendee put it, “The future is clean energy and the future is now.”
You can view Mike Taylors speech at the press conference below: