News Room: SB 722: 33% Renewable Energy by 2020
Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 2X into law at the SunPower/Flextronics solar manufacturing plant in Milpitas on Tuesday, April 12. Governor Brown and Senator Simitian were joined by U.S. Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu for the signing ceremony and dedication of SunPower’s new facility.
More pictures are available at the link below.
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Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed into law a requirement that California get 33% of its electricity from renewable sources, such as wind and solar energy, by the year 2020.
Brown’s signature raises the former renewable-energy mandate of 20%. Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), author of the legislation, said the 33% benchmark would reduce air pollution and U.S. dependence on unstable foreign sources of oil, while creating more than 100,000 jobs. That number is based on research by the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies, a trade group representing renewable energy companies, according to Simitian’s staff.
“The new law will stimulate the economy and improve the environment, while protecting ratepayers from excessive costs,” Simitian said.read more ...
Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill into law that requires the state’s public and private utilities to obtain at least 33 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020. He talked about the challenges of environmental policy and even invoked his old nickname:
“You can’t be afraid to be called a moonbeam, weird, deviant, interesting, unexpected and let’s get it done. Senator will you come up here so we can sign this bill? Clapping fades.”
The bill was written by Democratic State Senator Joe Simitian, who’s been pushing the change for several years.
“When we have hit 33% by 2020 ,we will look back on this day and say ‘look what California has done.’”
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The sun, the wind and other sources of renewable power would supply one-third of California’s electricity by the end of 2020 under a bill that finally cleared the Legislature on Tuesday after years of false starts.
The bill would give California one of the nation’s most aggressive policies for increasing the use of renewable power at a time when comprehensive federal energy legislation has been stalled in Washington. State Sen. Joe Simitian, who wrote the bill, cast it as a way of boosting California’s clean-energy industry, which has continued to grow in recent years despite the recession.
“If we send a clear signal to the market, the market will respond, and investment dollars and jobs and tax revenues will come to California,” said Simitian, D-Palo Alto. “If we don’t send a clear signal to the market, those dollars and jobs and tax revenues will go to some other state or country.”read more ...
California lawmakers passed a bill Tuesday that would require a third of the state’s power to come from renewable energy sources by 2020, setting a new bar for the rest of the country.
The U.S.‘s largest energy consumer is increasing its renewable portfolio standards and continues to pursue a cap-and-trade program that would put a price on carbon after similar initiatives to do so in Congress have flatlined.
California is typically seen as a trendsetter when it comes to setting environmental regulations aimed at slashing harmful emissions. The new law would make it the most aggressive adopter of renewable energy in terms of the amount of new generation that will be needed, which will draw investment dollars and create jobs through wind, solar, geothermal and other alternative projects.
The legislation “sends a signal to renewable energy providers that California wants them here,” State State Sen. Joe Simitian, who authored the bill, said in a statement. “They will respond, as they have in the past, with billions of dollars in investments that will provide jobs and tax revenues.”read more ...
In an editorial, NBC Bay Area applauds Sen. Joe Simitian’s Senate Bill 2X, that would require the state to obtain 33% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020.
Suzanne Shaw, NBC Bay Area Editorial Director, says, “We can lead the nation away from foreign oil and build a greener future for this state. We need our legislators and our governor to pass Senate Bill 2X.”
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An editorial in the Los Angeles Times calls on the Legislature to pass Sen. Joe Simitian’s bill, SB 2X, requiring that 33% of the electricity in the state come from renewable resources. Some excerpts:
“The state still doesn’t have a renewable energy standard even though a sensible bill to establish one has been taken up annually since 2007. ... We’re once again hoping the political establishment can overcome its legacy of failure and give California an early lead in the struggle to wean the nation off of fossil fuels, clean the state’s air, boost its fledgling green industries and set an example on responsible mitigation strategies for climate change.”
“It’s very important for the standard to take the form of legislation rather than a gubernatorial order, because the latter can be changed at whim by any new administration. Without the force of law, utilities and investors lack the certainty they need to proceed with new renewable projects.”read more ...
In an opinion article, Senator Joe Simitian explains the importance of increasing the amount of electricity generated from renewable resources.
In 2006, the California Legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ambitiously committed California to obtain 20 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by the end of 2010.
The utilities blanched and the skeptics snickered. But despite much naysaying, we’ll get pretty darned close. The California Public Utilities Commission said we’d reach 18 percent by the end of this month, and move past 20 percent some time in the new year.
That’s good, but we can do better. California’s commitment to green energy has invigorated the renewable-energy market. An explosion of investment in green technology has produced advances in solar and wind power and a smarter electric grid. Combined, they have brought within reach what once seemed an audacious goal: 33 percent renewables by 2020.
With our 2010 goals clearly in sight, I’ve again introduced legislation that calls for a commitment, in state law, to a 33 percent renewable portfolio standard by 2020. That measure, Senate Bill 23, is now before the Senate.
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State Sen. Joe Simitian is again introducing rules that require 33 percent of utilities’ energy mix to come from renewable sources, such as wind and solar, by 2020.
Simitian’s proposal was once vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2009. A similar measure died on the Senate floor earlier this year. Both times, the governor objected to provisions that would limit the amount of renewable energy utilities could purchase from out of state.
Schwarzenegger did, however, issue an executive order requiring the higher energy standards, without the restrictions on out-of-state generation.
But executive orders don’t have the permanence of state statute—his successor could have nixed it—and the governor’s order left a lot of uncertainty about whether utilities would actually have to go ahead with the new requirements.
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Even before California’s power companies have met a year-end target of getting 20 percent of their energy from renewables, like wind or solar, state Sen. Joe Simitian is upping the ante.
A bill introduced this week by the senator would require utilities to generate 33 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020, a standard Simitian says will go a long way to fighting global warming, spawning green investment and assuring California a local source of energy. The proposal, Senate Bill 23, failed in past years but Simitian, D-Palo Alto, hopes this time will be different.
“I’m optimistic,” he said Tuesday. “This is sound energy policy.”read more ...
After years of frustration at having their ideas vetoed by Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Democratic state lawmakers said Friday that they are reviving scores of old bills in hopes of having better luck with incoming Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat.
The proposals they plan to revisit would give illegal immigrants access to financial aid at colleges, prohibit the practice of “spiking” in public pensions, require utilities to provide more solar and wind power, ban cellphones from state prisons and require college booster groups to disclose their finances.
“We’re going back to look at every bill vetoed in the last eight years,” said state Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto). “I do think with a change it makes sense to look at bills this governor wasn’t inclined to sign and the new governor might.”
Next week Simitian plans to reintroduce, among others, a measure that would prohibit last-minute bonuses and raises from resulting in sharp increases in state workers’ pensions, and a requirement that 33% of energy produced by utilities by the year 2020 come from renewable sources.read more ...
As the final days of the 2010 legislative session wind down in Sacramento, a Silicon Valley lawmaker is pushing to give California the most far-reaching mandate for renewable energy in the United States.
But there’s more to it than putting up some wind turbines and solar farms. The lofty goal is struggling through a complex tangle of utilities, labor unions, environmental groups and green energy companies—each concerned about everything from the price of your monthly PG&E bill to the number of jobs the measure might, or might not, create.
“It is an extraordinarily complex task,” said State Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, “both in respect to the issue itself and the politics surrounding it.”
The showdown over Simitian’s bill, SB 722, could come to a vote early next week. The bill would require California’s utilities to produce 33 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020.read more ...
Senate Democrats and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s administration are embroiled in an improbable fight over renewable energy. They need to resolve it fast, for the sake of the state’s environment and economy.
The battle has its roots in California’s energy crisis of a decade ago. In one of the more significant measures to emerge from the debacle, then-Sen. Byron Sher pushed legislation in 2002 requiring that California’s privately owned utilities rely on the sun, wind, geothermal and other renewable sources for 20 percent of the state’s energy usage by this year.
The legislation made sense, given that energy merchants had been manipulating the supply of natural gas that fires most California power plants, and gouging utilities and, by extension, consumers.
By turning to renewable energy sources, Californians would gain more control over the electric system while also reducing carbon emissions.
Utilities have been racing toward the goal. Southern California Edison is closest. Pacific Gas ad Electric Co. is second. San Diego Gas and Electric Co. is lagging.
In too many instances, the utilities have turned to energy producers outside California for renewable energy. Out-of-state facilities provide no tax benefits or jobs to California. That makes no sense. Californians are expected to pay for renewable energy. As much of that money as possible ought to remain in California.
This issue is especially relevant as voters prepare to decide Proposition 23, the initiative on the November ballot that would suspend the separate mandate that California reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is also more urgent now that Senate Democrats in Washington, D.C., have dropped energy legislation that had contained provisions to reduce greenhouse gases and increase renewable energy requirements.
The jostling on renewables became mind-boggling last year when Schwarzenegger, the governor who champions the environment, vetoed legislation that might have resolved the dispute. Now, Sen. Joe Simitian, a Silicon Valley Democrat who replaced Sher, is pushing a new version of the measure, Senate Bill 722.
Like last year’s measure, SB 722 would increase the mandate that utilities rely on renewable sources for 33 percent of the energy by 2020. That is laudable. Importantly, the bill also urges that 75 percent of the renewable energy come from within California.
On that point, the administration is balking, as are lobbyists for manufacturing industries. There are questions of cost and doubts about whether the state could meet the goal. To meet it, the state may need to streamline permitting requirements and help resolve fights between environmentalists and energy providers on appropriate sites for new wind, solar and geothermal plants.
But there is no reason to bypass California entrepreneurs for energy producers from Montana and other states. California has its own sources of renewable power.
Approval of SB 722 would be a step toward energy independence, and a significant accomplishment for the governor who has tied his legacy to California’s environment. In the process, he and lawmakers would be helping to provide high-paying jobs in an area where they have said they want to direct the economy.
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An editorial in the Los Angeles Times called on the Legislature to pass SB 722
Since 2007, state Sen. Joe Simitian (D- Palo Alto) has been introducing bills aimed at requiring California to get 33% of its power from renewable sources such as the sun and wind by 2020.
California cannot achieve its ambitious goals for cutting greenhouse gas emissions without this standard, which is why the Legislature should pass Simitian’s bill and Schwarzenegger should sign it. SB 722 would clean the air, produce jobs and make the state a player in the global race to dominate the green-technology industry.read more ...
Legislation aimed at requiring California electric utilities to meet the nation’s toughest renewable power quotas easily passed its first test Thursday, gaining support from a large number of usually conflicting interests.
The bill would require utilities to get 33% of their power from renewable sources by 2020, a boost from the current 20% standard. The bill, SB 722 by state Sen. Joe Simitian (D- Palo Alto), was approved by the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee on a 9-2 vote and is expected to win final passage in late summer.read more ...
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