The California Wind Energy Association (CalWEA) is praising the California Legislature for adopting legislation, A.B.64, S.B.14 and S.B.62, which requires the state's utilities to acquire 33% of their power from renewable energy sources by the year 2020.
‘Without this legislation, state agencies will have no clear authority for whether and how to expand renewable energy in California, and transmission planners will be unable to plan and upgrade the grid as necessary to achieve the state's greenhouse-gas reduction goals,’ says Nancy Rader, CalWEA's executive director.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, R-Calif., has stated that he would veto the bill, saying it restricts the amount of renewable energy that could be purchased from out-of- state sources.
Rader says the Legislature understandably crafted a bill that encourages a majority of the required renewable energy to come from sources located in California, or from sources that deliver energy to California, rather than enabling the state's utilities to comply by purchasing only renewable energy certificates from projects outside of California that do not deliver energy to state consumers.
The bills enable about 25% of the renewable energy mandate to be fulfilled with credits, which is a reasonable compromise, Rader says. She notes that, unlike some of the renewable energy companies calling for a veto, CalWEA's 20 member companies have pursued wind energy projects within California and for delivery to California, which will be competitive in the market created by the bill.
‘We can achieve California's ambitious renewable energy goals by developing projects in and for California that create jobs, taxes and environmental benefits for Californians,’ Rader says. ‘But companies that are investing millions of dollars to do that need a clear commitment from the state that a market will exist to support those projects, so it is absolutely essential that the governor sign these bills.