33% Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard
Senate Bill 2 in the First Extraordinary Session (SB 2X) requires investor owned utilities, publicly owned utilities, and energy service providers to procure 33% of California's electricity from renewable resources such as wind, solar and geothermal by 2020. The bill is jointly authored by Senators Kehoe and Steinberg.
With legislation enacted in 2006 (SB 107, Simitian), the state of California implemented its current Renewable Portfolio Standard, requiring investor owned utilities (IOUs, such as Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas and Electric Company) to purchase electricity so that 20% of their sales would come from renewable sources by 2010. According to the California Public Utilities Commission California has in fact achieved a level of 18% renewables use by the end of 2010, and will be at 20% before the end of this year, a timeframe allowed for under the bill.
In 2009, the Legislature approved SB 14 (Simitian) and Assembly Bill 64 (Krekorian), which together would have created a 33% RPS by 2020. Unfortunately Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed the measures, stating that the bills "would make it more difficult and costly to achieve this very important goal." However, Governor Schwarzenegger's subsequent efforts to address the issue by Executive Order have proved both ambiguous and problematic.
NEED FOR BILL
A requirement of 33% renewable energy by 2020, as a matter of law, would:
- Improve air quality;
- Address climate change;
- Protect California ratepayers from the kind of market manipulation the state experienced 2001, by diversifying our sources of energy;
- Allow American foreign policy to be based on American values and interests, rather than energy needs; and,
- Bring green energy investment, expertise and jobs to California
Senate Bill 2X provides a clear statutory directive and pathway, for private and public utilities, to reach 33% renewable energy use; facilitates the acquisition of that energy; and provides the flexibility necessary to acquire that energy in the coming decade. Additionally, it provides a clear signal to financial markets of the importance and need for renewable projects in the state.