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  • Writer's pictureSarah Arbittson

California powered by 100% clean energy for the first time

On Saturday, April 30, for the very first time, California, who boasts the world’s fifth-largest economy, was powered by 100% clean energy. The milestone comes just two years after breaking through the 80% plateau in 2020.

Reaching the Milestone

April 30th will go down in history as a very important day in not only California history, but clean energy history as well.


Courtesy of a continuous tracker that is provided by California Independent System Operator (CAISO), all statistics regarding energy output throughout the state are able to be monitored.


At 2:45pm on that day, energy demand statewide reached 18,672 megawatts, with 37,172 MW available. The excess generated is exported to neighboring states. The 100% barrier was actually broken, with 101% of the power provided coming from clean energy. These statistics were brought to light by Dan Jacobson, an employee of Environment California in a Twitter post.


As expected in a dry state like California, solar energy took the lead in terms of production. Popular Palm Springs publication Desert Sun made note of this in a recent article stating:


"Two thirds of the 18,000 megawatts needed was provided by solar power loaded into the energy grid — or 12,391 megawatts. The rest came from wind, geothermal, and other renewable sources. The milestone lasted almost 15 minutes before edging back down to about 97% renewables."


This milestone brings a lot of hope to the people of California, as they have faced a lot environmental scares over the last few decades in regards to the burning of fossil fuels. State director of Environment California Laura Deehan mentioned in an emailed statement:

California has shown that, for one brief and shining moment, we could do it! Now we need to get our state running on 100% clean energy for the whole day, the whole week, and the whole year. It’s time to move to 100% clean energy, 100% of the time.

The state of California has set their hopes for the future high, mandating a clean energy target of 100% clean energy statewide by the year 2045.


As noted, the state did surpass 81% clean energy production just about two years prior in April of 2020. This twenty percent leap over the previous two years highlights just how determined the state is to make the advancements necessary for a cleaner future.

Solar energy has seen the bulk or production as hydropower has become far less reliable due to the severe drought conditions present across the state of California. The state also plans to shut down its Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant by the year 2025.

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