In the last days of the session, the Legislature passed and the Governor has now signed a bill to increase markedly the commitment to renewable energy used to make electricity.  SB 100 increases the requirement  that all sellers of electricity in the state, whether investor-owned utilities, public-owned utilities, community choice aggregators, or any of the competitive marketers, must source 60% of their electricity from renewables by the end of 2030, with criminal penalties if they do not.  This is an increase from the 50% goal in existing law.  Sellers must also meet intermediate goals of 30% by the end of 2020, 44% by the end of 2024, and 52% by the end of 2027.

At the same time, SB 100 declares it state policy to meet 100% of electricity requirements from renewables by 2045.  However, there are no penalties if sellers fall short of 100%.  Instead the bill requires the Public Utilities Commission, the Energy Commission, and the Air Resources Board to take action under their existing authority to achieve the 100% goal, how ever they can figure out.  That’s why “100% renewables” is in quotes here.

Even so, this is a big boost for renewables used to make electricity.  It would double the amount the state uses now by 2030.  That alone would mean a demand for almost 20,000 MW in qualifying generation.  The fact that all sellers of electricity are bound by this requirement opens up a larger set of buyers than just the utilities.  You can read the full text of the final version here.

Thomas Hall

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gary Simon is the Chair of CleanStarts Board. A seasoned energy executive and entrepreneur with 45 years of experience in business, government, and non-profits.


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