California's New Renewable Energy Standard Set at 33% by 2020


Photo: Jeda Villa Bali via Flickr/CC BY

California's new renewable energy standard, which requires that utilities purchase 33% clean energy by 2020, is now the highest in the nation. California Governor Jerry Brown signed the mandate into law today, once again reassuring the state's trailblazing position on the clean energy front. "With this vote," American Wind Energy Association CEO Denise Bode said in a statement, "public officials have decided to create thousands more jobs for Californians--jobs in manufacturing, construction, operations and maintenance, and other areas. This action is pro-business and pro-California."

Indeed -- the clean energy sector is one of the few that has continued to grow during the recession. The state was actually reportedly already on the verge of meeting the previous RES, which set 20% clean energy as the standard. Hoping to continue to spur investment in the industry, policymakers bumped up the bar once again.

Here's the LA Times with more on the new law:

Brown, along with U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, signed the bill while helping dedicate a new solar panel manufacturing plant in Milpitas. The facility will produce 75 megawatts a year of panels from SunPower Corp. and is expected to create 100 jobs. The new law, known as a renewable portfolio standard, is the most aggressive of any state. Several attempts to introduce a federal version have stalled in a divided and preoccupied Congress.
Renewable energy standards are fine, and certainly better than nothing, but they ain't perfect. They do nothing to discourage dirty power sources like coal -- which is fine for a state like California, which has little coal in its energy mix as it is. But stronger measures are going to be necessary to adequately address climate change.

More on Renewable Energy Standards
Renewable Energy Standards Across the US: A Survey of States
China's Stunning New Renewable Energy Standard : 20 Percent by 2020
California Utilities Do Not Meet 2010 Renewable Energy Goal

Tags: California | Clean Energy