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California fully powered by renewables

Words by Smiley Team

California has a plan to reach a 100% carbon-free power grid in the next 25 years, and last month there was a glimpse of what that might look like. 

On April 3, the state’s main grid ran on more than 97% renewable energy breaking a previous record of 96.4%.

“While these all-time highs are for a brief time, they solidly demonstrate the advances being made to reliably achieve California’s clean energy goals,” said California Independent System Operator CEO Elliot Mainzer said in a statement.

Now, just under a month later, California reached 100% renewable energy for the first time. “California busts past 100% on this historic day for clean energy!” tweeted Dan Jacobson, senior advisor to Environment California.

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California generally requires about 18,000 megawatts of energy and during the attempt energy production surged to 18,672 megawatts, capping out at about 101% energy production, although the numbers have been adjusted slightly by energy officials due to battery charging and reserves and other resource needs. 

About two-thirds, or 12,391 megawatts, of the power, came from solar, while the rest was made from other sources including wind and geothermal. 

In general, California has about 15,000 MW of grid-connected solar and almost 8,000 MW of wind.

“Despite incredible progress illustrated by the milestone this weekend, a baffling regulatory misstep by the Biden administration has advocates concerned about backsliding on California’s clean energy targets,” Laura Deehan, executive director for Environment California said in a statement. 

Inspired to act?

SUPPORT: You can check out Laura Deehan’s organization, Environment California. The organization helps fund environmental research through donations. 

VOLUNTEER: See how you can get involved with Renewable World, a nonprofit that envisions a world where renewable energy is readily accessible to all, helping to end extreme poverty and mitigate climate change.


This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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