Proposed bill would mandate 100 percent renewable energy in California


Joining a would-be trend that includes lawmakers in deep blue Massachusetts, Senate majority leader Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, has unveiled a new proposal that could become California Democrats’ answer to the limits of cap-and-trade. 

“The California Senate leader has introduced legislation that would require the Golden State to get 100 percent of its electricity from climate-friendly energy sources by 2045,” the Desert Sun reported. “That’s a big step up from the state’s current renewable energy mandate, 50 percent by 2030 — a target that’s only been on the books for a year and a half, and that California is still a long way from meeting.”

“De León’s bill would require California to hit 50 percent renewable energy by 2025, five years sooner than under current law, and phase out fossil fuels entirely by 2045. It’s not yet clear whether the Senate leader will move forward the proposal, which he introduced before the state’s bill-filing deadline on Friday, almost certainly to serve as a placeholder for more detailed legislation that could be fleshed out later. Still, clean energy advocates celebrated the proposal.”

Big goals

Massachusetts lawmakers recently made a bid to make their state the first in the country to draw all its power from renewables. “Lawmakers recently introduced a bill that would require an economy-wide transition to obtaining power via clean sources like wind and solar, and 53 state legislators from both the House and the Senate have shown support for the measure,” Inhabitat observed. “The bill, SD. 1932, also known as the 100 Percent Renewable Energy Act, would set targets of electricity generation via 100 percent renewables by 2035; other sectors like transportation and heating would have until 2050 to make the switch.” 

A few other states have begun to gravitate toward the principle of mostly or totally renewable power. New York “wants 50 percent renewable energy by 2030,” according to the Los Angeles Times, “which is seeking 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.” De León first floated the idea of going full renewable to the Times in January. “Two years ago, California Senate leader Kevin de León pushed through a law requiring the state to generate half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030,” the paper recalled.

Notes of caution

But while the enthusiasm has largely been couched in terms of using politics to advance moral imperatives, not all green energy advocates have embraced the idea with open arms. “[T]here’s a lot of evidence that 100 percent renewable energy is not the optimal way to decarbonize the grid,” Greentech Media noted. “Let’s say climate change requires massive government investment in clean technologies. In that case, the question shifts to one of efficacy: Since climate change justifies extraordinary measures, what is the most effective extraordinary measure to fight it? That’s where 100 percent renewables plans fall short, for both structural and practical reasons.”

Some analysts have warned that the approach pushed by de León becomes less and less effective the more ambitious it becomes. “The main economic problem facing renewable electric power is that of diminishing returns,” wrote the Niskansen Center’s Edwin Dolan. “It is possible to install great numbers of solar panels and wind turbines, and even to achieve economies of scale, measured in terms of the cost per kilowatt-hour of capacity, as the installations get larger. However, the problem remains of getting the power to users where and when it is needed. The output of solar and wind installations is variable, and the timing of output does not always coincide with the timing of demand. As the number of renewable installations attached to the grid goes up, the percentage of the potential power output that can actually be used goes down and the cost per kWh rises.”

The result could lead businesses to push technology toward arbitrary goals. “Energy companies have traditionally shied away from installing battery systems at their plants because they’ve tended to be expensive,” Ars Technica noted. “But as prices for energy storage come down and states like California require more and more intermittent renewable energy on utilities’ grids, battery installations have been on an upswing.”


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  1. Sean
    Sean 10 March, 2017, 14:05

    Maybe California can become like Germany and Denmark where the price rise of electricity corresponds to the increase in renewable generation. It currently exceeds $0.30 per KW-hr over there. Washington and Oregon will make a killing selling hydro-electric when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine (as Norway and Sweden do to bail out Denmark and Germany). But maybe there is method to the madness. According to the Sacramento Bee, Housing costs are driving low income people from the Golden State. Perhaps high energy prices will make the exodus pick up pace.

    Reply this comment
    • Richard
      Richard 10 March, 2017, 14:29

      We’re already well along that path. Consider:

      CA residential electricity costs an average of 42.3% more per kWh than the national average. CA commercial rates are 51.8% higher.  For industrial use, CA electricity is an astonishing 93.6% higher than the national average (July, 2016). The difference is growing between CA and the national average. NOTE: My SDG&E rates is considerably higher.

      Reply this comment
  2. Richard
    Richard 10 March, 2017, 14:27

    I never realized that BATTERY STORAGE of energy was “clean energy.” Who makes these nonpolluting devices that don’t harm the environment in their production — and in their disposal?

    Perhaps our statesmen should mandate the building of those WONDERFUL Star Trek replicators by 2045 — the ones that can magically produce anything we desire simply by voice command.

    I’m hoping the next bill passed in Sacramento will ban erosion at the coast — starting with forbidding sand removal by evil tides and winds. There’s no limit to the genius ideas that are emanating from our brilliant Democrat politicians. They could even name the bill The Hubris Memorial Resolution.

    Reply this comment
    • Rufus4444
      Rufus4444 19 March, 2017, 03:12

      You’re stupid. All clean energy manufacturing isn’t clean. The clean part pertains to output. Building solar panels isn’t clean nor is the manufacture of wind turbines.

      Reply this comment
  3. Dork
    Dork 10 March, 2017, 14:39

    These people are smokin crack, can’t read, and sure as hell can not count. The answer has always been Nucler, and Personally I have always thought the Molten Salt Reactor was by far the best. By the Way, there is Nothing Wrong with the One they Have, they just turned it off and can turn it right back on whenever they want. There are some companies going down this path already but will more than likely be stopped cold by some watermelon group or big daddy government.

    It would cost over $29 Trillion to generate America’s baseload electric power with a 50 / 50 mix of wind and solar farms, on parcels of land totaling the area of Indiana. Or:

    It would cost over $18 Trillion with Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) farms in the southwest deserts, on parcels of land totaling the area of West Virginia. Or:

    We could do it for less than $3 Trillion with AP-1000 Light Water Reactors, on parcels totaling a few square miles. Or:

    We could do it for $1 Trillion with liquid-fueled Molten Salt Reactors, on the same amount of land, but with no water cooling, no risk of meltdowns, and the ability to use our stockpiles of nuclear “waste” as a secondary fuel.

    Reply this comment
    • Rufus4444
      Rufus4444 19 March, 2017, 03:20

      “Nucler”? No spell check to hike your ignorance?

      The only reactors that make sense are breeder reactors that use spent fuel but are still in development. Molten salt solar towers are only beneficial to utilities because they can horde production and distribution at the expense of the environment Without empowering households and local business.

      Centralized power is retarded.

      Reply this comment
  4. Joe
    Joe 10 March, 2017, 17:25

    I’m surprised that f’tard Diddyleon didn’t demand 110%.

    Reply this comment
  5. David Wiltsee
    David Wiltsee 10 March, 2017, 17:26

    The insanity under the Dome just keeps coming.

    Reply this comment
  6. Mr. Pickle
    Mr. Pickle 10 March, 2017, 18:13

    I will probably be dead by 2050, but this idea is the pie in the sky crap that costs us DAILY as we pay more and more in fee’s. Why is it when you become a politician your brain stops working?
    Everything these clowns come up ends up cost us, the poor working saps. Why don’t these folks work on a BUDGET that pays down debt, rather than this crap! Brown the Clown wants $65 increase in DMV fees, as well as 15 cents a gallon of gas, and 20 cents for Diesel ALL to pay for roads they did not repair with the prior taxes. Why? The transferred the money to pay other agencies that are broke. truck weight fees =
    1 billion a year. guess what, last 6 years they took those fees and gave to General fund for things like Needle Exchange programs, et al. We are doomed……….

    Reply this comment
  7. michael
    michael 11 March, 2017, 16:24

    Richard is right on. I do not know if these morons noticed that PGE just increased rates last month for “safety.” The good news is that California is like a bug headed for the windshield of a speeding truck.

    California public pensions are already in trouble despite a record high stock market and real estate prices. All the money from taxes will end up in their pension payouts not in providing services.

    Reply this comment
  8. Bubba
    Bubba 11 March, 2017, 18:47

    Comrades; get out now before Czar D’Leon and his brain dead morons like Moonbeam and Newsome come out and take your home away and force you into “Hi Density” Government mandated housing near government run mass transit and force us out of our fossil fuel burning global warming cars.
    This state will collapse upon itself with its wacko enviormential laws and give aways to undocumented and refugees.

    Reply this comment
  9. Mike
    Mike 11 March, 2017, 21:09

    Why just not let China or Russia have California?
    How would they deal with the undocumented population?
    Do you think they would enforce the border?
    The Russian solution to Dreamers: Don t separate families, kill the family, all of it. See, compassion, the Russian Way. Make a jetty with the bones to slow erosion. Fighting climate change, the Russian way.

    Reply this comment
  10. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 12 March, 2017, 15:19

    How about harnesing the Hot Air from Moonbeam,Newsom and those Greenpeace and Sierra Club idiots

    Reply this comment
  11. Legs Sparrow
    Legs Sparrow 13 March, 2017, 13:20

    That is until a few California Condors get cuaght up in one of those darn windturbines then what will the eco-wackos do Blame the Ranchers or farmers like they almost always do? Tree Huggers/Granola Munchers are IDIOTS

    Reply this comment
  12. Queeg
    Queeg 14 March, 2017, 12:15


    Free college, high energy costs, fast trains, water tunnels, regulated wages, tinkering with affordable housings……bye bye doomers.

    Reply this comment
  13. Weatherguesser
    Weatherguesser 20 March, 2017, 15:45

    Apparently our moronic CA government has learned nothing from Germany, Denmark, Spain, and now South Australia, who have all mandated 100% renewable energy with disastrous results for their citizens and their economies. If you want clean energy in quantities that meet the demand anytime soon you need to look at nuclear, probably LFTR reactors. Solar and wind are not commercially viable and require technologies that don’t exist yet for storage of energy during times of no wind or sun (the latter of which, of course, means every night). Moonbeam and the CA legislature are big on pie in the sky, but not so big on actual understanding of the problems involved.

    Reply this comment

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