California reaches a new Renewable energy High
Renewable energy in the form of solar and wind power is becoming ever larger part of grids in places like California. Photo Credit: Facebook
Chalk up another seminal success for renewable energy. Thanks to a spell of windy days with lots of sunshine recently, California reached a renewable energy milestone one day by producing two-thirds (67.2%) of the state’s electricity from renewable sources. Add in hydropower facilities, and the result is more impressive still: 80.7%.
“More than half of the renewable energy flowing across the grid at that moment on Saturday came from large solar facilities and wind farms. The [California Independent System Operator’s] numbers do not even account for electricity from rooftop solar arrays,” a news report observes. “Overall, renewables accounted for 42 percent of the California grid’s power on Saturday, not counting the large hydropower plants.”
Such successes are key to ensuring that renewable energy sources become more and more mainstream as we continue to wean ourselves off fossil fuels so as to mitigate the worst effects of climate change fuelled by our relentless emissions of greenhouse gases. In California itself, which is one of the most progressive states in the United States, by law utilities will have to obtain a third (33%) of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and a full half of it by 2030.
This achievement is a welcome sign that this will indeed be doable. “The fact that the grid can handle 67 percent renewable power from multiple sources — it’s a great moment, and it shows the potential we have,” observed Sachu Constantine, director of policy at the Center for Sustainable Energy, a nonprofit clean energy advisory firm in Berkeley.
Nor is the US alone in achieving successes in renewable energy. Solar energy is now the cheapest form of energy in dozens of developing countries, while clean energy sources have been on their way up across much of the developed world, including Malaysia. The harvesting of solar energy is becoming ever more efficient and cost-effective, and so is the harvesting of wind power.
Malaysia, too, has been making progress in adopting solar technology and the country is ideally suited, thanks to both robust manufacturing and plentiful sunshine, to harness the power of the sun. According to government plans, Malaysia will become a major hub of solar technology manufacturing by 2030. California, here we come?