August 29, 2018 Read More →

California moves forward with fossil fuel-free power sector

Associated Press:

California would accelerate its efforts to generate most of the state’s energy from carbon-free sources and set a goal of phasing out fossil fuels entirely by 2045 under legislation approved Tuesday by the Assembly.

The bill would require California utilities to get half their energy from wind, solar and other specific renewable sources by 2026 — four years sooner than current law requires. They would then have four more years to get 60 percent from renewables. The 2045 deadline of phasing out fossil fuels is a goal that does not include mandates or penalties.

Most Democrats cheered the renewable energy bill as another way for California to show global leadership in addressing climate change by charting a path for other large economies to follow.

“We have to be a leader. We have to show what can be done,” said Assemblyman Bill Quirk, a Hayward Democrat. “If we can get to 100 percent renewables, others will as well.” Quirk, a scientist who has worked on climate change research, said he wasn’t sure if the new goals were feasible, but the state must try.

Phasing out fossil fuels would be a massive change in the energy grid. Utilities rely on natural gas plants to meet demand when renewables fall short, particularly in the early evening when the sun sets and people turn on their air conditioners as they get home from work. Renewable energy experts have looked to batteries that can store solar energy generated in the afternoon as one possible solution, but the technology is not ready for widescale deployment.

More: California sets goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2045

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