California is accelerating its rollout of clean energy, even as the White House is racing to unravel climate regulations.
On Tuesday evening, the California Assembly passed a bill requiring 100 percent of the state’s electricity to come from carbon-free sources by the end of 2045, putting one of the world’s most aggressive clean-energy policies on track for the governor’s desk.
Given the size of California’s economy and the bill’s ambitions, it “would be the most important climate law in US history,” says Danny Cullenward, an energy economist and lawyer at the Carnegie Institution for Science.
The actual impact of the measure on global emissions and climate risks will be negligible, unless the rest of the world responds in similar ways. But California is effectively acting as a test bed for what’s technically achievable, providing a massive market for the rollout of clean-energy technologies and building a body of knowledge that other states and nations can leverage, says Severin Borenstein, an energy economist at the University of California, Berkeley.
“We are showing that you can operate a grid with high levels of intermittent renewables,” he says. “That’s something that can be exported to the rest of the world.” [Continue reading…]