A step forward: California Governor proposes 50 percent renewables

Creative Commons: Jeff Hayes, 2008

California already has one of the nation’s strongest renewable energy targets, and now Governor Jerry Brown wants to make it even stronger.

Using his January 5 inaugural address as his vehicle, Brown proposed that the state increase its renewable energy target to 50 percent of the state’s electricity by 2030. California’s current renewable portfolio standard, considered a landmark piece of legislation when it was first established in 2002, calls for one-third renewables by 2020 as a result of later legislation. The 2002 legislation included benchmarks of 20 percent by the end of 2013 and 25 percent by the end of 2016.

“Under laws that you have enacted, we are on track to meet our 2020 goal of one-third of our electricity from renewable energy,” Brown reported in his inaugural address.

Having accomplished such benchmarks, it’s now “time to establish our next set of objectives for 2030 and beyond,” he said.

In addition to the renewable energy initiative, Brown also proposed to cut current petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50 percent and to double the efficiency of existing buildings.

The governor acknowledged his proposals are only a launching point. “How we achieve these goals and at what pace will take great thought and imagination mixed with pragmatic caution,” he said. “It will require enormous innovation, research and investment. And we will need active collaboration at every stage with our scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, businesses, and officials at all levels.”


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