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A major US state just achieved a critical milestone: 'It's wild that this isn't getting more news coverage'

"This has never happened before in history."

"This has never happened before in history."

Photo Credit: iStock

California has set a benchmark for renewable energy, with wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal supplying 100% of the state's electricity demand for 25 out of the last 32 days (and counting).

This data comes via Mark Z. Jacobson, a Stanford University professor of civil and environmental engineering. Jacobson has been updating his X (formerly known as Twitter) page each time the state reaches a record, which has been practically every day over the past month.

While California has hit 100% renewable energy before, for brief moments on exceptionally sunny days, this is the first time the state has sustained that success over an extended period. As Jacobson noted, there was even a portion of a recent day when wind, water, solar, and geothermal power (often shortened to the catchier "#WindWaterSolar" and #WWS hashtag) combined to reach 109% of the state's electricity demand, with anything unused going to battery storage.

Jacobson also pointed out how the date of the solar eclipse, April 8, showed a momentary dip when battery power jumped in to fill the gap in sunshine, before solar picked right back up where it left off and helped WWS to make its own eclipse — of the 100% mark.

Jacobson, for his part, is taking a victory lap. "This is getting so easy, it's almost boring," he wrote on LinkedIn.

"It's wild that this isn't getting more news coverage," Ian Magruder of Rewiring America wrote, responding to Jacobson's post. "This has never happened before in history. Yes, California has briefly hit this milestone before on a few very sunny days since 2022. But never so consistently over a two-week stretch."

California's milestone is a big deal — in order to curb the massive amount of air pollution and planet-overheating gases produced by dirty energy sources such as gas and oil, we must replace those sources with clean, renewable sources such as solar and wind. 

Now, despite what misinformation from dirty energy companies might suggest, California has shown that can indeed be done.

Though California does still rely on dirty energy as well as clean energy to power its grid, Jacobson predicted that the state will reach its goal of being permanently 100% WindWaterSolar by 2035.

"In 2009, when we first proposed 100% [WindWaterSolar], the utilities and naysayers claimed the grid would go unstable with more than 20 per cent renewable energy, with no evidence," Jacobson wrote on X, per Renew Economy. "In 2017, they claimed, with no evidence, a limit of 80 per cent. In 2020, they claimed 90%, then 95%. Now 100% WWS is here to stay."

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