The California Senate has passed legislation that would require private and public utilities to obtain 33% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020. S.B.2X would raise the renewable target from the current 20%, while providing the flexibility necessary to meet the higher standard. The measure, which was authored by State Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, passed on a vote of 26-11.
According to Simitian, the bill would improve air quality, address climate change, diversify energy sources and bring investment, jobs and tax revenues to California.
S.B.2X is part of a Clean Energy Jobs Initiative that the Democratic leadership in the legislature has pledged to move to the governor's desk as part of the current special session on the budget and economic development.
‘I'm hopeful we can establish the 33 percent standard this year,’ says Simitian. ‘It needs to get done to send a market signal to energy providers that California is committed to renewables.’
In each of the last two years, Simitian introduced bills to establish the 33% standard. In 2009, S.B.14 was approved by both houses of the legislature, but vetoed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger over concerns about precisely what energy contracts would qualify to meet the goal. In 2010, S.B.722 addressed those concerns and garnered strong support for the 33% standard, but did not pass the legislature by the end-of-session deadline.