Brown is pushing for regional management of the western grid to better share renewables, but he was unable to convince lawmakers to give up the control that the governor and Legislature now have to appoint leaders of the state's primary grid operator.
California Governor Jerry Brown stunned residents throughout the Golden State Monday; abruptly singing new legislation that would ban fossil fuel consumption in the region by 2045 and switch the entire electricity grid towards "clean sources". Brown is co-chairing the massive environmental summit, situated midway between Paris 2015 and 2020, that offers a forum where business executives, state and local government officials, and United Nations leaders including Michael Bloomberg and Indian billionaire entrepreneur Anand Mahindra will convene to address the most pressing climate change issues.
He also signed a bill, SB100, making the state's electricity completely emissions-free by 2045. In addition, the order sets a goal of maintaining "net negative emissions" beyond 2045, which means using plants or technology to draw carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, and reuse or store it some manner (see "Maybe we can afford to suck CO2 out of the sky after all").
Critics have argued that the bill is unrealistic and will compound the state's problems with rolling brownouts and high energy prices.
"This summit is going to be a showcase for the whole world in terms of climate action", said Ethan Elkind, head of the climate program at the Center for Law, Energy & the Environment at the University of California, Berkeley.
Earlier this year, California became the first US state to mandate solar rooftop panels on nearly all new homes.
Major cities will likely announce greenhouse gas emissions trending downward, and governors will unveil partnerships supporting indigenous efforts to sustainably manage tropical, carbon-dense forests.More news: North Carolina feels first bite of mammoth Hurricane Florence
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State Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, wrote the bill to push 100 percent green energy in the state.
Here's what we know about this new era for California.
About 26.9% of the state's generation now comes from hydro, with 26.9% from renewables and 43.3% from natural gas.
And earlier this year, for one entire month, Portugal produced enough renewable energy to meet its entire electrical demand - although the country did rely on fossil fuels to balance out the periodic disconnect between supply and demand. As an interim step toward the goal of 100 percent renewables, the bill would increase California's clean energy goal to 60 percent by 2030.
In 2017, California's zero-carbon sources - including nuclear, large hydroelectric and other renewable generation - accounted for more than 56 percent of total in-state generation of electricity.
The three largest investor-owned utilities collectively served 34.76 percent of their 2016 retail electricity sales with renewable power sources like wind, hydroelectricity, geothermal and bioenergy.