SACRAMENTO - A new report from Environment California Research and Policy Center finds that California has seen a 2,009 percent increase in the amount of electricity it gets from the sun, and a 146 percent increase in wind power production since 2010, battery storage grew from zero to 254 MW since 2010.
The report’s data points to the possibility of an even faster transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy than current law mandates. On September 11th Governor Newsom stated “while it’s nice to have goals to get to 100% clean energy by 2045, that’s inadequate to meet the challenges this state and this nation face” In addition the Governor signed an Executive Order (Executive Order N-79-20) that will ensure only electric vehicles can be sold in California after 2035. When accomplished, these two actions will be critical in staving off the worst impacts of climate change.
California ranks 1st in the nation for growth in solar energy production since 2010, electric vehicles and charging stations, and growth in battery storage since 2010. The state ranks 6th for growth in wind energy production since 2010 and 9th in wind and solar generation as a percentage of electricity consumption, according to a new report released today by Environment California Research & Policy Center. The project -- Renewables on the Rise 2020 -- documents and compares the growth of five key clean energy technologies in each state over the past decade: solar power, wind power, battery storage, energy efficiency and electric vehicles.
“Our leadership is proof positive that we can accelerate our goal and hit 100% clean energy (or 100% renewable energy) by 2030,” said Dan Jacobson, Director of Environment California. “It makes no sense to continue to burn fossil fuels to turn on our lights or move our cars when we can do it with clean energy.”
A decade ago, a solar panel on every roof or windmills powering towns may have seemed like a wild fantasy, but the growth in California and other states like it are proving this clean energy dream is on its way to becoming a reality," said Dan Jacobson, Director of Environment California Research & Policy Center. “The gains we’ve seen -- especially in solar, electric vehicles, and battery storage -- should give Californians the confidence we need to aim even higher and continue picking up the pace.”
The data in this analysis also points to the popularity and adoption of clean energy technologies in every corner of the country. The top three states ranked by wind energy growth are Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas respectively. Clean energy enjoys bipartisan support; onshore and offshore wind power in Texas alone could technically generate nearly twice as much electricity as the entire United States uses each year.
“Against the backdrop of severe climate-induced temperatures and wildfires, we are reminded that it is our collective responsibility to do everything we can to meet our climate targets” said Shannon Eddy, the Executive Director of the Large Scale Solar Association. “That means at least doubling California's renewable energy portfolio and growing storage exponentially in the next nine years. Working together, we can get it done."
In 2019, the U.S. produced more than triple the amount of wind energy than it did in 2010. In addition to the growth in renewable energy, utility scale battery storage increased 20-fold since 2010, energy consumption per person declined thanks to improvements in energy efficiency, and more than one million electric vehicles were sold in the U.S.
“This project offers a timely reminder that clean energy technologies have risen to the occasion and are already delivering power to millions of Americans and Californians,” Jacobson said. “We are so much closer to the clean, renewable energy future we need than we were ten years ago, and we should keep working to ensure that the next decade brings us even further. The state should enact a more ambitious goal of getting to 100% clean electricity by 2030.”
Environment California Research & Policy Center is dedicated to protecting our air, water and open spaces. We work to protect the places we love, advance the environmental values we share, and win real results for our environment. For more information, visit www.environmentcaliforniacenter.org.