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


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.