Clean energy moves forward

By Miguel Barragan 

Much-needed clean energy initiatives were signed into law following Governor Jerry Brown’s Executive Order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045.

Brown signed SB-100 on Sept. 10, the same day he signed the EO.

Like the EO, the bill establishes that 100 percent of all electricity in California by the end of 2045 must be achieved through renewable and zero-carbon energy resources.

The end goal of the bill is to have 60 percent of electricity on the California grid be provided through renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind.

The other 40 percent will be provided through a combination of zero-carbon sources and renewables, like energy storage.

This should set a precedent for other states to implement similar policies that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to achieve a cleaner environment.

Brown also signed SB-1477, which will allocate $50 million a year until 2023 to two programs that incentivize the market to use clean energy, with the goal of reducing emissions from buildings.

One of the programs, Building Initiatives for Low Emissions, will be responsible for employing clean energy technologies including high-efficiency heat pumps, solar thermal, and energy storage.

According to the National Resource Defense Council, a nonprofit international environmental advocacy group, modern electric heat pumps are three to five times more efficient than standard natural gas water heaters and furnaces.

An investment to implement clean energy technology, like electric heat pumps, will lower the cost of technologies in the future so clean energy will be able to reach low-income housing, a sector that should be treated with more respect in terms of living quality.

AB-3232, also signed by Brown, will require the California Energy Commission to assess how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the state’s building sector by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. A report must be presented to show what policies will enable the building sector to align itself with the clean energy goals on Jan. 1, 2021.

This is imperative to see how the state will move forward with clean energy in the future.

Pedro Pizarro, CEO and president of Edison International said on Insider Edison, “We believe there are ways to achieve clean air and greenhouse gas reduction goals while maintaining reliability that would have lower cost impacts to utility customers.”

Pizarro’s statements show that the old industry is ready to change.

One bill, AB-813, was not signed by Brown, which created controversy.

The bill would have required California to work with energy sources in neighboring states for a more convenient way of running energy in the state.

Despite its ambitions, many people who supported SB-100 didn’t support AB-813. They thought it would have made it harder for California to sustain clean energy if there’s too much trade with coal-burning states involved.

Supporters of AB-813 say its great when states work together to achieve a cleaner environment.

However, California’s current push for clean energy is good for establishing regulations that combat climate change and doesn’t require help from other states.

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