On Wednesday California’s Governor Jerry Brown dramatically increased California’s climate-change goals by signing a bill that commits the state to use renewable energy for half its electricity and make existing buildings twice as energy-efficient by 2030. California already has some of the world’s toughest air quality standards, and in 2006, under Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger, mandated that renewable energy should make up one-third of its electricity by 2020. The state is well on its way to meet that goal with 25% of electricity coming from renewables last year, driven by significant increases in solar and wind power.
While utilities typically fight such legislated pushes toward renewable energy, California’s three investor owned utilities supported the new law. They have been at the forefront of developing solar, wind, geothermal and biomass sources of electricity, and regulators are expected to allow them to pass some costs of the transition on to consumers.