Tuesday, April 12, 2011

California Passes Bill For 1/3 of Energy From Renewables

Jerry Brown
California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday requiring the state to obtain a third of its electricity from renewable sources such as wind, solar and geothermal power by 2020.  The California bill is the latest attempt by the state to bolster its clean-technology industry and improve the environment. The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, signed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, required a reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions to their 1990 levels by 2020.

The Center is pursuing a biomass energy project in California.

California's three largest investor-owned utilities failed to achieve an earlier state target to garner 20% of their electricity from renewable sources by the end of 2010, hitting 18% instead, according to the California Public Utilities Commission.  The utilities avoided penalties because they had made a good faith effort. They entered into contracts to buy a sufficient quantity of green-generated electricity from independent suppliers but the suppliers couldn't generate enough power.

Two of the three biggest utilities said they backed the new law. The third, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., opposed the measure over restrictions on where utilities can obtain power, among other concerns.

Utilities won't be required to reach goals set by the new law no matter what the cost, said Democratic state Sen. Joe Simitian, who sponsored the measure. Utilities may be granted exemptions if renewable-energy prices, or the difficulty of moving it to the state's grid, make costs excessive. (WSJ, 4/13/2011)

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