For the past 15 years, California has lead the way in reducing hydrocarbon emissions through proactive legislation. While several states are suing the EPA for regulating carbon spewing from the electricity sector, California is moving full-steam ahead towards clean, renewable energy that reduces hydrocarbon emissions into the air we breathe. In 2002, the California passed legislation mandating power companies to provide at least 20% of the electricity they sell to consumers come from renewable resources by December 31, 2017. Subsequent legislation in 2006, 2011 and most recently 2015 increases and accelerates the goal to 50% renewable energy by 2030. In 2017, California Senator Kevin de León proposed SB 100 to the legislature to increase the goal to 100% by 2045 which failed to pass.
Common forms of renewable energy are Solar, Wind, Geothermal, and Hydroelectric.
Upon signing the most recent Bill into Law, Gov. Brown stated “This is really a very significant occasion. “California is taking the lead; there is no question about it.” de León also stated “California is laying the groundwork for a healthier and sustainable future for all of our families. We are showing the world through innovation how we can transition and increase access to renewable energy while cleaning up the air we breathe, especially in our most polluted communities.” And rightfully so, as the top five cities in the nation with the dirtiest air are all in California. By displacing electricity generation from coal and natural gas, this clean, safe, and domestic electricity has helped reduce harmful air pollution.
And unlike fossil fuels, which are finite sources of energy with historically volatile prices, renewables can provide a fixed price and inexhaustible sources of electricity.
Renewable energy, with solar leading the way, is helping California create a more diverse and resilient electricity supply for decades to come.
California already gets more electricity from solar than any other state in the country. Nearly 200 new renewable energy generation projects have been built inside the state that provides enough solar capacity to power more than 5 million homes. That infrastructure has paid off in the form of providing approximately 55,000 jobs in the Solar Industry in California.
Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency unveiled the Clean Power Plan, which highlights how uniquely positioned the solar industry is to help transition the country to a new clean energy future. Solar power is mainstream today.
Solar is the fastest-growing source of renewable energy in the country. It’s available, cost competitive, and easy to install. It’s creating jobs and stimulating the economy.
So how are we doing locally? Data published by the California Public Utilities Commission show that at the end of 2016, 43% of the power provided by San Diego Gas and Electric was from renewable resources, which includes privately owned solar systems. None the less, only a small percentage of San Diego County homes produce their own power from Solar panels on their roof. Want to help meet our State goal for Renewable Energy? Go Solar! Programs are available that allow you to start saving immediately with no up-front cost.
Barry is a Solar Energy Consultant with Heliogold and can be reached at 619-980-1998 or Barry@Heliogold.com