Thanks to plenty of sun, wind, and rain, California broke renewable energy records last month while cementing itself as the nation's current leader in clean energy production.
A massive grid controlled by California Independent System Operator (ISO) soaked up enough sun and wind to power 67.2 percent of the state's energy. Combined with hydropower technology, the state generated a whopping 80.7 percent of its energy from renewable sources on May 13. On May 16, California also set a record for wind-generated power alone with 4,985 megawatts in a single day.
Many cities and states across America see humanity's future as dependent on making the transition from fossil fuels and finite sources of power to renewable energy sources. Hawaii was the first state to enact a 100 percent clean energy standard in 2015, and the islands plan to run entirely on renewable energy by 2045. Chicago aims to become a model for the rest of the world and has set a goal of powering all buildings in the city with renewables by 2025. Lawmakers in the state of Massachusetts are pushing to run entirely on renewable energy by 2035. San Francisco is pushing forward with plans to run its incredibly busy public transit system entirely on clean energy by 2045.
“It’s going to be a dynamic year for records,” Steven Greenlee, a spokesman for ISO, told SF Gate. “The solar records in particular are falling like dominoes.”
Greenlee also said that the state has the potential to produce over 70 percent of its power from clean sources this summer thanks to weather forecasts and an industry becoming increasingly adept at harnessing the elements.
This is welcome news given the current climate, political and natural. Scott Pruitt, the President Donald Trump-appointed head of the United States Environmental Protection Agency is a dangerous man to have at the helm. The president himself seems to view climate change as a hoax created by economic rivals rather than one of the greatest threats to the human species.
The Golden State is showing the nation that we cannot afford to take our cues from the White House; the states have their own power, and they can choose to make it sustainable.