Sowing the Seeds of SB 100
California, the fifth-largest economy in the world, has shown that economic growth and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive. The state is a leader in patent registrations across all major clean technology (cleantech) categories and California’s companies have received more than 50 percent of all U.S. venture capital investment in cleantech. California’s policies have spurred innovation and created markets for renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage, low-carbon fuels, and zero-emission vehicles.
In 2019, 63% of California’s electricity retail sales came from non-fossil fuel sources - renewables like solar, hydroelectric, and nuclear. Senate Bill 100 is a grand step towards the mission.
Implementing SB 100 is expected to reduce criteria air pollution emissions as renewable and
zero-carbon resources replace fossil fuel in generating electricity. Today, more than 28 million Californians live in areas that exceed the federal health-based standards for ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5).
Disadvantaged communities will reap the highest health benefits from the phaseout of fossil fuels in generating electricity; half of the state’s natural gas power plants are in communities that rank among the 25 percent most disadvantaged.
The public health benefits are expected to grow substantially throughout the state as the
transition from fossil fuels to clean electricity accelerates in transportation and buildings.
Increased conversion of cars, trucks, and buses, as well as home appliances to electric
technologies, can improve health and reduce mortalities associated with air pollution across the state.
The joint agencies are committed to ensuring the benefits of cleaner, more efficient energy
are enjoyed by all Californians, including those in low-income and disadvantaged communities, as well as tribal and rural communities.
To ensure equitable outcomes, SB 100 will need to be implemented in ways that help these communities overcome barriers to clean energy, including:
• Keeping electricity affordable, with an emphasis on vulnerable populations and
households that pay a disproportionately high share of their household income on
• Reducing air pollution from local power plants, particularly in communities that
experience a disproportionate amount of air pollution.
• Strengthening communities’ ability to function during power outages and enjoy reliable
energy in a changing climate.
• Funding of training for high-quality jobs and careers in the growing clean energy
Presently, Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) is responsible for creating jobs for thousands of Californians. These jobs paid more than $16 billion in salaries, wages, and benefits and produced $47.9 billion in total economic activity for California in 2016.
California is also home to 12 wind manufacturing facilities with $12.5 billion in total capital investment. Major companies and investors had advocated for SB 100’s passage, citing the benefits to the economy and the planet resulting from California’s rigorous, market-based climate policies to date, with innovation in energy efficiency and renewable energy creating new jobs.
As of 2020, California had more than 530,000 clean energy jobs, more than half the total
energy-related jobs in the state. While the global COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically
affected California’s energy sector, clean energy jobs remain an important component of the
SB 100 provides an opportunity to create more high-quality clean energy jobs and increase diversity in the state’s clean energy workforce. Successful implementation of SB 100 alone will not achieve statewide carbon neutrality, but it is pivotal to the success of California’s climate-fighting efforts that collectively can reach the target. A clean electricity grid can serve as a backbone to support the decarbonization of transportation, buildings, and some industries. California is undoubtedly the torchbearer of the climate change-induced dark ages. The state is successfully leading the way to a cleaner and greener and more profitable economy.