SB 100: California’s Commitment to 100% Clean Energy

Photo Credit: Nicolas Raymond – Solar Sentinel of Point Reyes

On September 10, 2018, Governor Jerry Brown signed California’s most ambitious energy bill into law: Senate Bill 100 (SB 100). This environmental measure sets a world-leading precedent by committing to 100% clean energy in California by 2045, speeding up the state’s timeline for moving to carbon-free power sources.

The timing of SB 100 was deliberate. The Governor inked this landmark bill days before world leaders converged in San Francisco to hold the Global Climate Action Summit, during which SB 100 received much fanfare from the elected officials, policy wonks, community activists, and Hollywood celebrities in attendance.

But just what does 100% clean energy actually mean? Under the law, 60% of the power purchased by California utilities must come from renewable sources by 2030. California State has a multi-hundred page handbook providing guidance on what they consider renewable power resources – everything from solar to biogas to wave and tidal current energy. The additional 40% of the power California’s utilities will deliver to residents, businesses, and government agencies must come from ‘zero-carbon’ sources. This is a term still waiting to be defined by California’s policy makers.

So what does this bill mean for Bloom Energy? SB 100 requires all retail electricity to be carbon-free by 2045, and therefore, only impacts utility procurement of energy. The bill does not directly affect Bloom’s core commercial and industrial (C&I) business or any customers who chose to self-generate. With that said, SB 100 highlights one of the many important steps California policy makers are taking to modernize and decarbonize our state’s electricity grid in a post-climate change world.

Bloom Energy’s mission is to make clean, reliable energy affordable for everyone in the world. Central to this vision is our dedication to sustainability and continued effort to combat the causes and address the consequences of our changing climate. Our fuel cell technology not only reduces harmful criteria air pollutants that lead to smog, it also significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Compared to the California grid, a 1MW Bloom Energy Server running off natural gas reduces approximately 1.6 million pounds of CO2 emissions annually.

Additionally, our Energy Servers already run on renewable biogas. In fact, nearly 10% of our deployed fleet of Servers, by megawatts deployed, utilize biogas to generate renewable electricity. We also recently unveiled a new Bloom Energy biogas solution at the Global Climate Action Summit. As Bloom continues technology improvement and capabilities, our fuel cells will play an increasingly important role in implementing SB 100 in California and helping decarbonize the electricity sector throughout the world.

California is opening the next chapter in its global leadership on climate. And Bloom is integral to this effort: we are digging in deep to help both address the causes and mitigate the impacts of our changing climate—driving the clean energy future envisioned by California’s SB 100.