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We’re meeting goals on renewable energy - but they should be higher

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

San Jose Mercury News

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.

View the full story (San Jose Mercury News)