California demands even more renewable energy

S.B. 2X, signed into law by the governor today, requires that 33 percent of the state’s electric generation come from renewable sources by 2020 like solar power and wind power. “With this vote,” American Wind Energy Association CEO Denise Bode said, “public officials have decided to create thousands more jobs for Californians—jobs in manufacturing, construction, operations and maintenance, and other areas. This action is pro-business and pro-California.

“California understands the direct link between sound policy and renewable energy’s multiple benefits. A long-time leader in renewable energy, California has already seen the jobs and economic development that follow when the right policies, like a strong state renewable electricity standard, are put in place to create a stable business and investment environment. California’s strong action sets a precedent that all other states can follow. In fact, its action sets a precedent that America can follow.”

The renewables standard includes near-term and incremental targets, an approach that the wind turbines industry considers to be an important component of renewable electricity standard legislation because it allows the industry to begin ramping up and generating economic development immediately. Under S.B. 2X, all load-serving entities must meet a 20-percent renewables target by December 31, 2013, and a 25-percent target by the end of 2016, before hitting the 33-percent benchmark by the end of 2020.

Passed during a special legislative session, S.B. 2X will take effect in approximately 91 days. The signing of the California standard comes just as Tom Darin has joined AWEA as its new Western Regional Representative, and one month before the organization brings the world’s largest annual wind power trade show, WINDPOWER 2011, to Anaheim, Calif., May 22-25. Darin comes to AWEA with several years of experience and a successful track record working on clean energy and transmission issues in the Western U.S. Most recently he served on the White House Council on Environmental Quality as Deputy Associate Director for Transmission and Renewable Energy Siting; in that post he developed and implemented policies to advance the President’s renewable energy goals.

“This is wonderful news for California,” said Darin. “I look forward to working with Californians and key stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the new target.”