California aims to drop fossil fuels for electricity by 2045

Gov. Jerry Brown signs into law California’s ambitious new emissions targets on Sept. 10

A new California law says the state must phase out fossil fuels from its electrical grid by 2045. Jerry Brown on Monday signed a bill requiring the state to source electricity from exclusively carbon-free sources by 2045, a move aimed at combating climate change that clashes with U.S. President Donald Trump's pro-fossil fuel policies.

California is the second USA state after Hawaii to commit to carbon-free energy.

Gov. Jerry Brown, signs a copy of the environmental measure SB100 as the bill's author, state Sen.

Brown also announced plans for a carbon neutral bill, mandating that the state remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it emits by 2045.

Brown's action comes as thousands of scientists, political leaders, celebrities and others are arriving in San Francisco this week for the "Global Climate Action Summit", a meeting at the Moscone Center that is spearheaded by Brown and United Nations officials. The bill also requires electric utilities and other service providers to generate 60% of their power from renewable sources by 2030, up from the 50% goal previously set for that date.

A UN tally of all the local carbon-reduction initiatives so far reveals "encouraging potential" but will ultimately fall short without deeper commitments from national governments, UN Environment chief Erik Solheim said Monday.

For more than a decade California has adopted ambitious laws and regulations to confront climate change.

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To support energy storage deployments and greenhouse-gas reduction goals, two additional energy storage bills that complement SB 100 await Governor Brown's signature.

After President Donald Trump made his intentions to support the oil and gas industries clear and pulled out of the Paris Agreement on climate change in June 2017, Brown volunteered as an unofficial ambassador overseas on climate change issues.

"We are going to meet the Paris agreement and we're going to continue down that path to transition our economy to zero carbon emissions", Brown said.

California already gets a substantial portion of its electricity from renewable resources.

Critics said they were concerned that the bill would bring higher electricity prices, with opponents including the major utilities, oil interests, as well as the California Farm Bureau Federation and the California Chamber of Commerce, The Mercury News reported.

To deal with significant problems - namely the need to keep a steady supply of electricity even at night when the sun isn't shining and during times when the wind isn't blowing, the previous laws defined renewable energy to include not only solar and wind, but also geothermal energy, biomass and hydroelectric power from small dams. The state's biggest utilities, however, opposed the measure.

California has almost 54,000 active wells, some of them close to urbanized areas in Southern California and the Central Valley, according to state data.

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