California assembly votes for decarbonisation

31 August 2018

The California State Assembly passed a historic bill on 28 August to decarbonise the state’s electricity system. This was the final step before the bill, SB100, goes back to the Senate for final approval, putting clean energy advocates one procedural vote away from a major victory. The Senate had already passed the bill last year with a majority of 25 to 13.

SB 100, authored by outgoing state senator Kevin de León, raises California’s renewable energy target to 60 % by 2030 with interim targets, and gives the state until 2045 to generate the rest of its electricity from carbon free sources.

It is now almost certain that SB100 will become law. The assembly has made only minor changes to the bill that the Senate passed last year.

Following the vote Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association called for further legislation on near-term renewable procurement and on regionalisation of the electricity market, commenting: "The California Legislature¹s bold move to advance legislation that requires 100 % clean power demonstrates that massive advances in clean energy indeed make a carbon-free power grid a true possibility … this bill will lead to significant investment and jobs creation in California, and elsewhere in America. We urge governor Brown to sign this legislation as soon as it hits his desk. To make this great legislative victory a practical reality, California must begin taking steps now to deploy renewable energy on a wide scale. That¹s why we are asking lawmakers to also pass AB 893, which would require utilities to ramp up procurement of renewable resources. Without serious near-term action, ambitious long-term goals will be hard to reach. Furthermore, AB 813, legislation to create a regional electricity market that includes California and neighbouring states will help accelerate renewable energy deployment in California and other areas of the West.”

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