California Governor Signs New Clean Energy Law

Statement by the Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Oct 7, 2015

Los Angeles, Calif. (October 7, 2015)—California Gov. Jerry Brown today signed into law a bill that will significantly expand the state’s use of renewable energy and increase energy efficiency, furthering the state’s commitment to combating climate change and continuing to grow a strong low-carbon economy.

Enshrining into statute goals that the governor set earlier this year, Senate Bill 350 will require California to generate half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, building on existing law that set a target of 33 percent by 2020. In addition, the bill will double the energy efficiency of buildings by 2030, the most ambitious energy efficiency standard in the country.

Adrienne Alvord, UCS California and Western States Director:

“This landmark law will continue California’s leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions at a critical time as states and nations look for models on how to decarbonize energy. The fact that the eighth largest economy in the world is setting a 50 percent standard is proof of concept that a major economy can be run on renewables. Also, by reducing emissions from the electricity sector that are driving climate change and polluting our air, Gov. Brown and legislators are delivering on the desires of state residents who have continually supported action on climate change.”

Laura Wisland, UCS senior energy analyst:

“Ramping up our use of renewable energy to 50 percent can be achieved by building on the momentum already underway in California’s electricity sector. In fact, modeling conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists shows that California can generate 50 percent of our electricity from renewable sources even earlier than 2030 with technology we have in place now.”