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Published on January 6th, 2015 | by James Ayre


California’s Governor: 50% Of Electricity From Renewables By 2030

January 6th, 2015 by  

California should receive at least 50% of the electricity that it uses via renewable energy infrastructure by the year 2030, according to California’s recently re-elected governor, Jerry Brown.

The comment, along with several other interesting ones, was made at the California Governor’s record-breaking 4th inaugural speech yesterday — where he expounded on his relatively ambitious targets concerning renewable energy, the reduction of petroleum fuel use, and energy efficiency.

Governor Jerry Brown

While the new goal isn’t surprising — the state already has the public goal of receiving a third of its electricity via renewables by the year 2020 (and is on its way towards that goal) — it is one of the first concrete comments that we’ve heard on the goals for that date.

Amongst his other comments, Brown also noted that he would like for petroleum fuel use in the state (via cars, trucks, etc) to be reduced by up to 50% by 2030; and for the energy efficiency of existing buildings to be doubled.

That’s a lot for a governor (or governors) to accomplish in such an unwieldy state in “just” 15 years, but considering the mounting problems of climate change, groundwater depletion (including the potential desertification of some areas), and increasing fossil fuel extraction costs (this will hit us within the next few years), such goals seem worth commending. Certainly better than were they not made.

And, importantly, such goals don’t necessarily mean putting California at a disadvantage. And a good argument could be made that the embracing of renewable energy technologies (via production and industry), especially solar energy, could be a means of putting oneself at a notable advantage over late adopters — as the trends certainly do point towards the wide-scale adoption of solar over the next few decades.


During his address, Brown noted that “taking significant amounts of carbon out of our economy without harming its vibrancy is exactly the sort of challenge at which California excels.”

He continued by stating that his vision includes a number of different initiatives intended to support the growth of rooftop solar, microgrids, battery storage, and electric vehicle use.

He concluded: “All of this is a very tall order. It means that we continue to transform our electrical grid, our transportation system and even our communities. We are at a crossroads … the challenge is to build for the future, not steal from it, to live within our means and to keep California ever golden and creative.”

Good stuff. But actions speak far louder than words. His coming term will be interesting to observe. California state, in general, should be interesting to observe over the coming decade — it’s hard to say exactly what the future holds for it.

Image Credit: Brad Alexander, Office of the Governor

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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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