Simitian's green-energy bill clears Legislature

Senator's proposal would require utilities to draw 33 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2020

A proposal by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, to require California utilities to obtain a greater share of their electricity from renewable sources is now one signature away from becoming the law of the land.

Simitian's proposal, known as Senate Bill 2X, passed the Assembly today 55-19 and is now heading to Gov. Jerry Brown for final approval. The bill cleared the state Senate in February.

Simitian's bill would require utilities to obtain 33 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind or geothermal technology by 2020. Currently, the utilities are required to meet a 20 percent target for renewable energy by 2020.

"This bill establishes California as the national leader in clean energy, improving the environment and stimulating the economy, while protecting ratepayers from excessive costs," Simitian said in a prepared statement after the Assembly vote.

Simitian has tried to raise the renewable-energy standards in the past only to see his bill vetoed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The new bill would also allow utilities to get exemptions from the California Public Utility Commission if the costs of acquiring renewable energy or plugging into the state's power grid prove too steep.

The new law would apply to both investor-owned utilities such as PG&E and to municipal utilities. The city already has a goal of getting 33 percent of its electric load from renewable sources by 2015.

In his statement, Simitian expressed optimism that the rising costs of fossil fuels and the growing demand for energy would continue to make renewable sources more viable. He also said the new mandate will encourage green energy providers to come to California.

"Senate Bill 2X sends a signal to renewable energy providers that California wants them here," Simitian said. "They will respond, as they have in the past, with billions of dollars in investments that will provide jobs and tax revenues."


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Posted by Rex
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 30, 2011 at 5:25 pm

"Mountain View Voice"

"Palo Alto Weekly Staff"

"The city already has a goal of getting 33 percent of its electric load from renewable sources by 2015."

Which city? Palo Alto or Mountain View?

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Posted by Stephan
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 30, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Rex: Good question, but the reference to "Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto" in the lead sentence would seem to settle it. (I called KGO Radio news this morning to ask them to repeat the mention of "which city" the "south bay bureau" reported had voted to outlaw dog leashes longer than 6 ft... The story had apparently begun with the words San Jose but that was before it caught my attention. This context-first journalistic tradition is more of a problem on radio.)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by FamilyMan
a resident of Jackson Park
on Mar 31, 2011 at 5:37 pm

FamilyMan is a registered user.

Does this mean more business for solar companies in California?

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tom
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 1, 2011 at 3:36 pm

What are you doing to go green? Here are some tips: Web Link

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