Here’s a surprising fact: if California were a country, it would have the world’s eighth-largest economy.

We don’t often think of the sheer size of the state and its business network, but California is undoubtedly big business. As such, the state has huge energy needs to accommodate its economy and its 38 million residents, needs that will be increasingly strained if only brown energy sources are in play.

But there is good news. Renewable energy is a booming industry across the U.S., as consumers’ mindsets shift toward the future of our planet and their role within it, and companies seek to make sure this mentality is met with sustainable practices integrated into their own structures.

A new study from Stanford University should further bolster sustainability’s prospects in California, as researchers there have found that the all of the state’s energy needs could be met solely through renewable energy production. This study has wide-ranging implications for all parts of the state’s economic and residential populations.

Here are just a few of the public benefits:

  • Air pollution-related deaths would decline by 12,500 annually
  • California would save about $103 billion in related healthcare costs each year
  • Renewable energy sourcing would mean more affordable electricity, and less energy usage

And a few of the economic implications:

  • Huge capital investments in green energy mean huge opportunities for businesses and investors in the field
  • A plan to build out to the full extent of renewable energy production would mean a net gain of 220,000 jobs
  • Would create net earnings of $12 billion annually.

In a state stricken by the onset of global warming’s effects, including rampant wildfires and droughts, the time is now for California lawmakers to put such a plan into action and let their constituents enjoy the benefits and a greener future.