Can California achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2040? Jerry Brown thinks so

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“The California Public Utilities Commission recently released its annual renewables portfolio standard report showing that large investor-owned utilities have already executed the renewable electricity contracts necessary to exceed their 33 percent RPS requirement for 2020 — and are on track to meet the 2030 RPS requirement of 50 percent renewables a full 10 years early.

Building on this momentum, Governor Jerry Brown recently suggested that the state could achieve a 100 percent renewables energy mix before mid-century.

Setting aside the debate on whether or not 100 percent renewables is the optimal way to decarbonize the grid, there a number of very real challenges tied to executing on that goal that are worth addressing. For one thing, California’s investor-owned utilities may not be as close to their renewable energy goals as it may seem. Also, as Governor Brown pointed out in his talk, hitting 100 percent renewables hinges on two big unknowns: “It’ll depend on storage. It’ll depend on a regional grid,” he said.”

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