California renewables plan a breath of fresh air

Tehachapi_wind_farm_31709aCalifornia state officials are expected to approve regulations today requiring the state’s investor-owned utilities to source 33 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020, reports Tiffany Hsu of the Los Angeles Times.

The vote is being closely watched by solar and wind plant developers whose plans are stuck in limbo as officials debate the rules. Some companies say they may make their investments in other states or countries if California doesn’t approve the new threshhold.  A statewide proposition is also hanging over the heads of developers and investors. Proposition 23, if approved, would eliminate the state’s Air Resources Board’s power to mandate any renewable energy goals by suspending California’s AB32, the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act.

Clean-tech companies are considering taking their plans and millions elsewhere unless the mandate is approved. They report having a tough time attracting investors due to the uncertainty.

Renewable energy, which generally costs more than some other sources, is apparently in need of the mandate to gain sure footing in the marketplace.

According to Hsu’s reporting, none of the three investor-owned utilities (Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison or San Diego Gas and Electric) are on track to meet the 20 percent requirement for renewable energy by December 31st.

With reports of tropical coral reefs suffering a mass die-off and other indications of a warming climate becoming more difficult to ignore, the time to reduce carbon emissions is already here, and may be almost gone.  If California is the locus of innovation state boosters claim it is, the state should be leading the nation in clean energy efforts.

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