California to Get 33% of its Power from Renewables by 2020

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Photo via All American Patriots

Nearly a week ago, the California Senate passed an ambitious energy bill that would require the state to get 33% of its power from renewable sources by 2020. Greens cheered. Then Gov. Schwarzenegger declared he would veto it. Greens booed. Now, the governor has signed an executive mandate that once again commits California to a renewable energy standard of getting a full third of its power from renewable sources by 2030. Should we cheer again?It seems we should. The governator never had any problems with such an ambitious renewable energy target--he, along with a number of smaller clean energy companies felt that the Senate bill would threaten smaller projects, and that complex rules would stymie growth. He also felt that a clause limiting the amount of renewable energy that could be purchased out of state was protectionist. So, he circumvented the problem by signing an equally ambitious executive order. Schwarzenegger says he plans on vetoing the Senate bill.

The new target makes California the state with the highest renewable energy standard by far. The only other state in contention is Hawaii, which has set its sights on getting 40% of its power from renewable sources--but not until 2030.

According to Green Inc, as of now, the major power providers in California (PG&E;, Con Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric) are already required to get 20% of their energy from renewable sources. The new mandate will continue that trend, and state legislators, Schwarzenegger, and many green watchers believe, will keep California on the cutting edge of clean tech and renewable energy development.

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