Close your eyes for a moment and follow me on a quick journey into the future – Imagine all homes and businesses worldwide powered with strictly clean renewable energy. Consider a society where: we fly on hydrogen fuel cell electric hybrid planes, zip across town or the country on electric public transportation, drive in exhilarating electric autonomous cars, explore the city or countryside on e-4x4s, e-motorcycles, e-bikes, e-scooters – On e-everything. Picture a world where carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and other toxic pollutants will be economically accounted for, thus priced into GDP, resulting in almost no emissions into the atmosphere.
We know that the current fossil fuel based economy was used as a stepping stone to get to the now necessary all electric, renewable economy. One day global warming will have peaked and we will be measuring how much carbon dioxide is reduced from the atmosphere each day. This new economy will keep future generations in mind and our decisions will always consider the planet.
How many years from now is this future? How many years until we live in a world full of abundance and global foresight? It depends on the will of the people in the world’s most powerful countries, and the will of the people in the most powerful state in the US. Right now all eyes are focused on California.
California previously required its major utilities to buy 50% of their electricity from renewable sources. California recently passed SB 100, now known as The 100 Percent Clean Energy Act of 2018 requiring that the State’s major utilities meet the following milestones; 60% by 2030 and 100% by 2045.
Our dreams for a renewable energy powered economy just got a lot closer, but how far reaching is this bill?
Let’s look at the facts, symbolism, and what’s in store for us…
First of all, California is not the only State with a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) but it is the most meaningful. Twenty-nine states, Washington, D.C., and three territories have adopted various RPSs. Also, California wasn’t the first state to adopt the 100% RPS. Back in 2015, Hawaii mandated 100% renewable by 2045. However, California now has the highest RPS and the largest economy to convert so it clearly stands out as the front runner.
Other states are trying to keep up with California.This November, Michigan, Arizona and Nevada will all be voting on higher RPS initiatives. Arizona and Nevada are both voting on a RPS of 50% renewable by 2030, and Michigan has a ballot initiative for the RPS of 30% by 2030.
Every year states continue to adopt new and stricter RPSs. At some point the federal government will get involved and mandate a nationwide standard.
Approximately 30% of California electricity comes from renewable sources right now. In some ways, this was the easiest 30% to convert because few batteries are needed to keep up with demand. In other ways, this was the toughest groundbreaking ever done due to high solar panel cost, low demand, and lack of industry track record. California getting to 30% is already an amazing feat, and increasing it so quickly is even more impressive to me.
Living harmoniously within the planets limits is the greatest challenge of humanity. The carbon economy is fading behind us.
I for one, just breathed a huge sigh of relief. We ARE making progress towards a clean energy world.