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California moves towards requiring 100% clean power by 2045

San Francisco

CALIFORNIA lawmakers approved a measure mandating that all electricity come from wind, solar and other clean-energy sources by 2045, marking the state's biggest step yet in the fight against global warming.

The state assembly voted in favour of the legislation on Tuesday. It would eliminate the reliance on fossil fuels to power homes, businesses and factories in the world's fifth-largest economy, accelerating a shift already under way. The state currently gets about 44 per cent of its power from renewables and hydropower.

"It's already happening for economic reasons," said Pavel Molchanov, an analyst at Raymond James Financial Inc, who noted that solar and wind are the cheapest sources of electricity in some regions. "I think California can get to 100 per cent in 15 years."

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California has positioned itself to lead the battle against climate change by cutting emissions even as the Trump administration has worked to roll back the state's stringent auto pollution standards and prop up ailing coal-fired power plants.

Earlier this year, California became the first US state to mandate solar rooftop panels on almost all new homes. It would be the second state to require 100 per cent carbon-free power after Hawaii.

The bill must clear the state Senate - which had already approved an earlier version of the measure - before heading to Governor Jerry Brown, who is expected to sign it into law. The legislature adjourns at the end of the week. BLOOMBERG