California Aims for 50% Electricity from Renewable Sources in 15 Years

5868673193_8250ce08cf_zThe Sunshine State is aiming to get half of its electricity from renewable sources like wind turbines and solar panels in 15 years.

California Governor Jerry Brown announced these plans last week, citing the need to combat climate change. Brown officially signed the law into effect at the Griffith Observatory, where he spoke about the ramifications of climate change and what needs to be done to mitigate the risks. Under this new law, California must generate at least half of the electricity that it is uses from renewable sources by the year 2030. Furthermore, the Sunshine State must double its energy efficiency standards in residential homes, as well as commercial offices, buildings and factories.

We are talking about the big world of avoiding climate catastrophe, but we are talking about the immediate world of people living in Riverside, Los Angeles and other places,” said Gov. Jerry Brown when speaking to a crowd gathered at the Griffith Observatory. “This is big. It is big because it is global in scope, but it is also big because it is local in application.”

California isn’t a newcomer when it comes to renewable energy and air quality. In fact, it has some of the strongest standards in the world regarding air quality. Back in 2006, California passed a mandate in which it said that a third of its electricity would come from renewable sources by 2020. State officials say they reached the 25% milestone of this goal last year, with solar panel and wind turbine farms playing a major role in accomplishing this goal.

So, why is California placing such an emphasis on renewable energy? While all regions and states are susceptible to the effects of climate change, experts believe that California will be hit the hardest. The Sunshine State has already battled record-breaking droughts and wildfires in recent months, which experts point towards climate change as being a primary cause.

According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), California currently ranks as the second most energy-efficient state, only second to Massachusetts. Assuming the Sunshine state follows through with its plan of obtaining 50% or more electricity from renewable sources, it could easily surpass Massachusetts. Now let’s just hope other states follow in its footsteps by setting their own goals for greater energy efficiency.

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