Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Environment

Is California's Carbon-Free Energy Plan Aggressive Enough?

The orange haze covering the San Diego skyline on Sept. 15, 2020, because of smoke from wildfires across California, including the Valley Fire in rural East County.
Matthew Bowler
The orange haze covering the San Diego skyline on Sept. 15, 2020, because of smoke from wildfires across California, including the Valley Fire in rural East County.
Two years ago Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a plan to make all California's energy supply carbon-free by 2045. The devastating wildfires and intense heat of 2020 have caused environmental groups to lobby to move that date up 15 years.

Much of California is choking under a blanket of smoke and ash from deadly wildfires that have blackened miles of backcountry up and down the Golden State.

The dire conditions have caused environmental groups to re-think the current plan to have the state use entirely carbon-free energy by 2045. That's not good enough, say groups such as Environment California. They say we should be aiming for 2030.

SB 100, signed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown in 2018, commits the state to getting 100% of its energy from carbon-free sources in 15 years.

Moving the time frame forward will mean solving problems with reliance on solar and wind power even sooner. Both those renewable sources of energy are intermittent and must be stored or supplemented by carbon-free sources of energy, like hydro-electric dams and even nuclear, an unlikely power source for California

Rob Nikoleski, energy writer for The San Diego Union-Tribune, joins Midday Edition on Friday to discuss what it would take to change California's energy plan and who currently opposes such change.