The planet's green tipping point

The planet's green tipping point

Elisa Maria Giannetto
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From the USA to China, everyone is facing the same challenge: more investments in renewables

Following the lead of Massachusetts, Nevada and Hawaii, California joins the ranks of US states taking concrete steps to promote renewable energy. A bill recently introduced in the California senate, if passed, would set a target for the sunshine state to get 100% of its electricity from clean energies like wind, solar and hydropower. In his State of the State address, governor Jerry Brown told Californians that their state "is not turning back… we can’t give in to the climate deniers. The science is clear. The danger is real," in open defiance of the Trump administration. California policy-makers lost no time to act: state senator Kevin de León, a Democrat, has already introduced legislation requiring a 50% share of renewables in the state’s energy mix by 2020, and 100% before 2050. The plan is feasible, considering that last year 27% of the electricity consumed by Californians was generated from renewable sources. What’s more, green energy has already proven itself to be a viable means of powering entire countries. Denmark, a country 230 times smaller than the United States, was the first European country to produce over 100MW of wind energy, an extraordinary achievement made possible by the installation of 100 offshore wind turbines, which will enable the Nordic state to completely phase out fossil fuels within 40 years. This is a major boon in the fight to stop global warming, a challenge that even China is beginning to take seriously. Even though the country still runs largely on coal, public pressure to reduce alarming air pollution levels has driven a policy shift to renewables, starting with geothermal. The colossal state oil company Sinopec is now dedicating its experience and oil drilling machinery to geothermal exploration. Plants are already operational in the district of Xiong, in the province of Hebei, heating over 40% of homes in the area. All with zero emissions.