California continues to lead the country in the move toward renewable energy sources. Over 20 percent of the state’s electricity is now sourced from renewables by its three biggest utilities. In March of this year, a record level of renewable use was recorded, when utility-scale solar supplied three million homes with 4.5 gigawatts of power, accounting for five percent of the state’s overall electricity demand. This total rises to 17 percent of demand when wind, geothermal, and biomass are counted in the numbers, and to 22 percent when hydropower is included.
The state’s goals are to achieve 50 percent sourcing from renewables by 2030, a goal considered both doable and affordable, according to a report by Energy and Environmental Economics. This growth in California is happening in a context of similar increases in renewable sourcing across the country and around the world. Wind energy is now supplying five percent of our electricity, and when hydropower is included, all renewables are providing 14 percent of electricity generation in the U.S. this year—a total that the U.S. Energy Information Agency predicted would not be reached until 2040. Globally, 134 gigawatts of solar energy are now online. Thirteen gigawatts were added across 24 countries in 2013. In Quarter One of this year, nine more gigawatts of solar were added worldwide. Solar power is expected to break records every quarter this year.
I’m John Howell for 3BL Media.
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