California Legislature Approves 33% Renewable Portfolio Standard

S.B.2X, authored by State Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, has cleared the California State Assembly, after passing the Senate on a vote of 26-11 last month.

The legislation would require private and public utilities to obtain 33% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020, raising the target from the current 20%. It applies to all electricity retailers in the state – investor-owned utilities (IOUs), municipal utilities and independent sellers. The current 20% standard applies only to IOUs and independent sellers, Simitian notes.

S.B.2X does not require utilities to reach the goal at any cost. The California Public Utilities Commission must approve renewable energy contracts, and utilities may be granted exemptions if the price of energy – or the difficulty of moving it into the state's grid – make the cost excessive.

The bill will now be sent to Gov. Jerry Brown to be signed into law.

SOURCE: Office of State Sen. Joe Simitian

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