California Legislature passes zero-carbon power plan for 2045


wind farm

wind farm

California has long been in the vanguard of clean energy when it comes to cars.

Now, as the state fights a battle against the EPA and the Trump administration to maintain its ability to lead the nation in clean cars, the California Legislature has passed a new plan to radically clean up power plants.

According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle last week, the state legislature passed a bill increasing state targets for renewable electricity generation to 100 percent by 2045.

DON'T MISS: EPA plans to roll back emissions standards on power plants

California already has targets to get half of the state's electricity from renewables by 2035, which the latest bill increases to 60 percent.

As of 2017, the last year for which complete data is available, the state got 44 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, including 15 percent from large hydroelectric projects, just over 10 percent from solar, and 9 percent from wind power.

Another 9 percent came from nuclear power, and a third from natural gas. (The remainder comes 2/3 from "unspecified sources," and 1/3 from coal.)

Tesla Supercharger site with photovoltaic solar panels, Rocklin, California, Feb 2015

Tesla Supercharger site with photovoltaic solar panels, Rocklin, California, Feb 2015

California also passed a law in May requiring all new homes built in the state to be equipped for solar power.

The latest move comes following the EPA's plan to unwind President Barack Obama's never-implemented Clean Power Plan, which would have set pollution limits on power plants nationwide.

Under President Donald Trump, the EPA has proposed to replace the Clean Power Plan with the "Affordable Clean Energy Rule," which would roll back federal emissions standards for power plants in an effort to allow coal plants to continue operating.

CHECK OUT: First carbon-capture power plants come on line this year

When the EPA released the rule last month, Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said the Affordable Clean Energy Rule would "empower states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide modern, reliable, and affordable energy."

If the EPA is returning power to the states, California's plan shows what some states may do with that power.

The bill passed through California's legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat in his final term, is expected to sign it.

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