Friday, August 22, 2008

Let's Energize The Debate!

If California competed in an Olympic event for renewable power generation, we’d only take fifth place!

That’s what
our allies at Environment California announced today at the State Capitol. We’re joining them in their call for the California Legislature to power up its efforts to pass a renewable portfolio standards bill that would call for a full third of California’s power to come from renewable sources by the year 2020.

Currently, utilities must generate at least 20% of their electricity from renewable resources such as solar, geothermal and wind power by 2010. Last month, Sierra Club California wrote Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, asking him to work toward a 33% standard.

Schwarzenegger has joined the team of allies trying to hurdle California’s renewable generation capacity toward 33%. Speaking for him, California Energy Commissioner Karen Douglas joined a panel that also included representatives of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies; the Union of Concerned Scientists; Environmental Defense Fund and a score of environmental, public health and environmental justice groups.

Raisng the bar for renewables would pay off across a number of issue areas, the groups agree.

"Increasing the renewable portfolio standard would lower greenhouse gas emissions, clean our air and create an estimated 200,000 new jobs for Californians," says Jim Metropulos, Sierra Club California's Senior Advocate.

A 33% renewable portfolio standard should be a top priority for the Legislature, the group agreed.

“If developing renewable energy were an Olympic sport, California surprisingly wouldn’t even win a bronze medal,” said Bernadette Del Chiaro, clean energy advocate for Environment California. “It is high time California gets back in the race by upping our mandate and commitment to removing barriers to renewable energy.”

PHOTO: CEERT's V. John White answers a reporter's question as representatives from Environment California, Sierra Club California and other groups back him.


Michael's Photo Blog said...

Makes me wonder who are the top 4?

Sierra Club California said...

Thanks for asking. Texas, Iowa, Minnesota and Colorado lead, "in terms of new large-scale renewable energy projects developed in states with Renewable Portfolio Standards," according to Environment California.
Our state has produced great gains in terms of personal homes outfitted with solar systems as part of the Million Solar Roofs project, but that new energy didn't count for the purposes of the survey because they are small, individual projects.