California’s Renewables Progress Commendable But Emission Of Global CO2 Still Exponential
California continues its remarkable legislative breakthroughs in going green under the SB 350 Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015. Legislation just passed sets two goals for 2030: 50% of state utility power from renewables and a 50% increase in energy efficiency of buildings. The provision for a 50% reduction in petroleum use for cars and trucks failed to pass as did the SB 32 bill that sets GHG emission targets for 2030 and 2050.
Still, the sweeping new mandates passed call for DOUBLING energy efficiency and using renewables for HALF of California’s electricity generation by 2030. It is uncertain how fast and to what extent transportation electrification will proceed California’s aim to step up its commitment to clean energy acknowledges the scientific reality we humans don’t have the luxury of lots of time to transition FAST to renewable energy and much improved energy efficiency. California, Germany, and Scandinavia are not being complacent about the critical need to act in big and little ways to counter Earth’s energy imbalance that’s intensifying global warming, recurring destructive drought and flooding weather events of scale – the huge costs of which are not included in the gasoline price.
California’s electricity generation from renewables and overall decarbonization rates were an impressive 26.6% and 36.6%, respectively, in 2013. Wind energy and biomass played a major role. The renewable share can be increased significantly by solar PV applications and electrification of vehicles bringing further improvements in California’s decarbonization levels.
Without a near term, effective, safe way to capture and bury carbon, Germany and Scandinavia are phasing out of CO2 pollution-intensive coal production. Germany is doing the same with nuclear. California, Germany and Scandinavia have resisted temptation to consider renewable energy as supplemental rather than the dominant contributors to energy consumption and energy security.