Last week, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a directive requiring that 33% of the state’s electricity must come from renewable energy sources by the year 2020. While this law, known as the renewable portfolio standard, is the most ambitious in the country, many are left with the feeling that the percentage should be higher. “While reaching a 33 percent renewable portfolio standard will be an important milestone, it is really just a starting point – a floor, not a ceiling,” stated Governor Brown. “Our state has enormous renewable resource potential. I would like to see us pursue even more far-reaching targets.”
The new law will apply to not only to investor-owned utilities like PG&E and California Edison, which under previous law were required to draw 20% of their electricity from energy by 2010, but also to municipal utilities like LADWP and SMUD which handle nearly a quarter of the state’s electricity. During his campaign, Governor Brown summarized a plan to authorize 20GW of new renewable energy in the state and implemented a feed-in tariff for projects under 20MW. Signing the RPS bill only three months into his term is a hopeful sign of what is to come in the state of California and our renewable energy projects.