In a major environmental milestone, Gov.
There's more: California governor Jerry Brown went a significant step further on Monday, signing an executive order directing state agencies to figure out how to make the entire economy carbon neutral in that same time frame.
California's governor has signed a bill setting a 100% clean energy goal for the state and issued an executive order setting a target to achieve carbon neutrality, both by 2045. It will not be immediate.
The bill and executive order puts California on a path to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement, Brown said.
This bill moves the 50 percent goal up to the year 2026 and establishes a new goal of 60 percent renewable energy by 2030.
President Donald Trump has denied climate science, withdrawn the US from the 2015 Paris climate deal, and worked to expand the use of coal.
Environmentalists cheered the news Monday.
It also is less restrictive on technology, allowing any carbon-free resources to qualify including large hydroelectric dams and nuclear power. This is a series of actions that are leading California in the right direction. And I feel so proud of people all over America who have kept fighting to clean up climate pollution, despite the federal government's abandonment.
California is doing a pretty good job of flying the flag for renewable energy in the U.S., as the state has just announced it will aim to bolster its climate targets.
Critics said they were concerned that the bill would bring higher electricity prices. We ask that any comments by climate-change denialists be flagged for moderation.
The electric sector represents 16 percent of the state's greenhouse gas emissions. 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. In the week of the final vote, former Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote a letter of support.
"If we're going to have these first-in-the-nation laws, we want to see first-in-the-nation benefits", said Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable.
"Iceland and Norway meet essentially all of their electrical needs through hydro and geothermal power, and have for years - but those countries take advantage of extraordinary geology, making the accomplishment hard to replicate".
Californians overall seem to favor the law. The bulk of that is solar energy.
California utilities already get about a third of their energy from renewables, according to the California Energy Commission.
Emissions are falling. Since 2004, as renewable energy has boomed, California's greenhouse gas emissions have dropped by 13 percent, even as the economy has grown by 26 percent over the same time.
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.
About 26.9% of the state's generation now comes from hydro, with 26.9% from renewables and 43.3% from natural gas.