In a move that underscores the national trend toward green energy, California state Governor Jerry Brown recently signed SBX1 2, a bill that will require utilities to draw 33% of their power from solar panels, windmills and other sources by 2020. This is a huge bump up from the state’s previous requirement of 20%.
The renewable energy mandate is now the most stringent in the nation.
Those supporting the new standard feel it will reduce pollution and create green energy jobs. Denise Brode, CEO of America Wind Energy Association, a trade group, was quoted as saying: “Public officials have decided to create thousands more jobs for Californians,” per the article at usatoday.com, “California sets highest green power goal”.
Critics are fearful of increased electricity costs, despite language in the legislation to curb cost increases. Gino DiCaro, spokesman for the California Manufacturers and Technology Association was quoted as saying, per the same article: “Industry in California already pays electricity rates about 50 percent higher than the rest of the country.”
In an article at ca.gov, Governor Jerry Brown was quoted as saying in his signing message: “This bill will bring many important benefits to California, including stimulating investment in green technologies in the state, creating tens of thousands of new jobs, improving local air quality, promoting energy independence, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. While reaching a 33 percent renewables portfolio standard will be an important milestone, it is really just a starting point – a floor, not a ceiling. Our state has enormous renewable resource potential. I would like to see us pursue even more far-reaching targets. With the amount of renewable resources coming on-line, and prices dropping, I think 40 percent, at reasonable cost, is well within our grasp in the near future.”