For a brief moment early this month, California was able to fully power itself with renewable energy. But making that amount of green power sustainable is an enormous challenge.
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
California hit a major milestone for clean energy last weekend. For part of an afternoon, the state produced enough renewable energy to meet 100% of demand for the first time. But that doesn’t mean fossil fuels are going away quickly. Solar and wind power have been booming, but getting off fossil fuels completely could take decades, even in California. Lauren Sommer from NPR’s climate team joins us. Lauren, thanks so much for being with us.
LAUREN SOMMER, BYLINE: Hi there.
SIMON: Even if only for a moment, how did California set the record?
SOMMER: So California has been installing a lot of wind and solar. Renewables have more than tripled in the last 15 years. And the day that record fell had ideal conditions. The sun was shining, the wind was blowing, and it wasn’t too hot yet, so the state didn’t need a huge amount of power for air conditioners. But there’s a catch. Natural gas power plants were still running at that t …